Will the Fiscal Fights Ever End?
Posted at noon on Oct. 14
As Congress considers ways to restart the government and avoid impending default — at least for a few weeks — Brad Plumer looks at three ways to put an end to debt ceiling crises permanently.
“1) The United States could stop running deficits and accumulating more debt… Most economists will tell you doing this immediately would crush the economy… 2) Obama could try to defuse the debt ceiling himself — by unorthodox means…These ideas are undeniably clever. But they likely wouldn’t end the debt-ceiling crisis. For one, they’d likely cause a political uproar and a flurry of lawsuits… And that turmoil could unsettle financial markets.”
“3) Congress could simply repeal the debt ceiling… So how do you repeal it? One option would be to simply roll back the 1917 statute. But maybe that wont fully solve the problem… A second approach would be for Congress to formalize the ‘Gephardt rule.’ Back between 1979 and 1995, the House agreed to lift the debt ceiling automatically as soon as the chamber approved a yearly budget.”