prospect.org — It’s gone under the radar, but Politico reported this morning that, after a private request from President Obama to raise the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner responded with a (not so) veiled demand. “There is a price for everything.” Sure, but that doesn’t mean you always have to pay it. Unlike last year, when he needed House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling—lest the United States fall into a second recession—Obama has all the leverage in this situation. If he does nothing, taxes on the rich return to their Clinton-era levels, and Republicans will have to negotiate from an unfavorable baseline. In other words, John Boehner is not in a position to make demands or threats of any kind. But if he decides to try to win some bargaining power by holding the debt ceiling hostage to a deal that favors Republicans, Obama has another option. He can just get rid of the debt ceiling.
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