With the doomsday clock showing that America is five days away from the Economic Apocalypse™, I can’t help but wish that Boehner finally grows a pair and stands up against any proposed increases in the federal debt ceiling. I’ve noted multiple times before how an increase in federal debt is a horrible, horrible idea, and generally unsustainable, so at this point it seems that maintaining the current debt ceiling is a good idea. And, there are several possible positive outcomes.
First, we could default on our debt. This has the valuable outcome of making it harder for the federal government to borrow money, which should help to keep the budget in check. Of course, the government may find that it would just as well use inflation to bring more into the system in the even that it can’t find lenders, but that’s a risk worth taking.
Second, we could actually balance our budget. The beauty of the hitting the debt ceiling is that it makes a balanced budget amendment largely unnecessary. (Although, it should be noted, if one is using GAAP accounting techniques, one’s budget is, by definition, balanced. Of course, the general sentiment of the balanced budget amendment is, hopefully, that revenues equal expenses, and that the government does not take on more debt.) Anyway, the point in all this is that if Boehner really wants a balanced budget, all he has to do is make sure house Republicans vote against increasing the debt ceiling. This way, he no longer has to concern himself with passing an additional piece of legislation then having it ratified by the states.
Third, Obama could ignore the law and tell the Treasury to issue more debt. This would be a violation of the law, naturally enough, and should be grounds for impeachment. I almost want to see this happen, just to see what it would look like. Of course, given our luck, the Senate would laud Obama for his bold, decisive action, so all that would happen would be an increase in executive powers, leading America closer to being ruled by a dictator.
Finally, it’s possible that the government shuts down at the behest of President Obama in the attempt to play chicken with the Republicans. I sincerely hope this is what eventually happens, but mostly because I have nothing but contempt for the federal government. In fact, I hope that the federal government not only shuts down on August second, but that it stays shut down for all eternity. There is not a single federal function that is either a) necessary or b) can’t be replicated by the state governments. As such, it is time for this behemoth to die, and to that end I say let the debt ceiling stay the same. Let’s starve the beast!