Brinksmanship for Dummies

It’s one thing for the Republicans and centrist Democrats to defy their voters. But is there anyone on the planet who believes hey are really going to defy these guys?

Sixty-two business groups, including the American Gas Association, the Telecommunications Industry Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers, urged congressional leaders on Wednesday to raise the federal debt ceiling amid fears that political brinkmanship could lead to another financial crisis.

“Raising the statutory debt limit is critical to ensuring global investors’ confidence in the creditworthiness of the United States,” the groups wrote to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). “With economic growth slowly picking up we cannot afford to jeopardize that growth with the massive spike in borrowing costs that would result if we defaulted on our obligations. It is critically important that the United States stands fully behind its legal obligations.”

Treasury has already taken steps to avoid defaulting on its obligations, but officials believe it will run out of maneuvers on Aug. 2. They have asked Congress to raise the ceiling as soon as possible, but many Republicans and some Democrats want spending cuts to be part of any deal to raise the limit.

According to Village rules it’s OK for the markets if these ideologues run out the string on the debt limit to the very last minute so they can use it to check off items on their screw-the-people wish list, but if the Democrats just say no and refuse to negotiate for something they know the other side has already agreed to do, it’s irresponsible and dangerous. But the least the Democrats could do is get something in return. Are they asking for anything aside from what both sides already intend to do in return for slashing spending on their own constituents? I haven’t heard of anything.

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