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The financial press is getting increasingly jittery about the prospects of not having a debt ceiling hike at the beginning of November. This week’s bedlam in the House has only heightened those fears, on Wall Street and among anyone who is paying attention. Because the U.S. defaulting on its debt is kind of a big deal. A big unprecedented deal.
Note that, as the Fiscal Times reports the “current debt ceiling suspension expired in March, and since then officials have had to rely on cash reserves, shuffling money back and forth, and accounting gimmicks, known as ‘extraordinary measures.'” Extraordinary measures are expiring, and by November 5, the government will have less than $30 billion in cash. But because Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew—and President Obama—have drawn the line at negotiating with the Republican terrorists who would take the debt ceiling hostage, Senate Republicans are insisting
the alarm is only the White House “playing politics,” and that they picked the deadline of November 5 arbitrarily, just to put more pressure on Republicans. That’s not just the Ted Cruz and Rand Paul Republicans, either.
“It is interesting, which is a polite word, that all of a sudden the administration moved up considerably the timing of when the debt limit needs to be extended,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a leading centrist Republican. “What I’ve found over the years is that the date on which the debt limit truly has to be increased seems to be a very squishy date that often changes depending on the political winds.”
Previous estimates, by the way, of when the debt ceiling would be reached were not considerably further out. Before the August recess, Lew gave Congress notice that it might happen as soon as late October. So there’s that. There’s also this for supposed moderate Susan Collins to mull over: she’s to the right of Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on this one. He’s urging current and reluctant House Speaker Boehner just to get it over with and pass the damn debt limit with Democrats. Seriously, Republicans, think about this. Peter King is your voice of reason.
Speaking of who should be thinking about this—Wall Street and U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporate America: You built that. Just as surely as Boehner created the complete mess we’re in now because he let a minority of whack-jobs rule the House, the big money people did it by helping elect these whack-jobs.