PSC Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Framework | New NY 23rd

It’s unlikely that this situation will be resolved with something resembling the deal that ended the debt ceiling crisis of 2011. Democrats have gotten somewhat tougher: They believe that President Barack Obama gave in to blackmail, and they won’t do it again. Republicans, on the other hand, have gotten a lot crazier; even if Democrats were willing to make a deal, it’s highly doubtful that McCarthy could persuade his caucus to accept it.Paul Krugman

The Problem Solvers Caucus proposes a solution to the debt ceiling crisis. Here is the heart of the proposal:

The sixty-four Members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus have drafted and backed a proposal in case the President and Congressional leadership are unable to reach an agreement. The PSC Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Framework takes a reasonable, responsible bipartisan approach — putting country and stability first.

Our bipartisan Framework will suspend the debt ceiling for six months to allow for the normal budget and appropriations process to work its course this fall and to negotiate deficit stabilization proposals in discretionary spending in the mid-term. We also support Congress appointing an independent fiscal Commission which can consider every means to address ballooning debt and deficit and put the country on a sustainable path. The Commission will include experts and appointees from both sides.

Sounds good on the surface, but consider this:

  • It is not enough for the President and Congressional leadership to reach agreement. The House must pass a bill that will pass the Senate and be signed by President Biden.
  • Will the PSC move to force a vote on their proposal in time to prevent default?
  • Putting the matter off six months doesn’t solve the problem.
  • In this time of alternative facts, a commission of experts is unlikely to find a plan acceptable to progressives and reactionaries.

An article in The Hill discusses the PSC proposal. The author, Sheldon H. Jacobson, approves the plan. He writes:

Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or other, permitting our elected officials to threaten the fiscal stability of our nation is unacceptable. Eliminating the debt ceiling would force our leaders to take responsibility for their decisions. Without such accountability, the insanity of our nation’s fiscal condition will persist, to the detriment of everyone.       

I approve of Professor Jacobson’s proposal to repeal the debt ceiling. I find his concern about bankruptcy overstated; there is no provision in law for the Federal Government to be bankrupt, The Constitution forbids it.

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