Gimmick? Maybe. Path out of the debt ceiling mess? Absolutely.

by Maurice BP Weeks, In These Times

Kevin McCarthy won the gavel for Speaker of the House through a desperate and power-hungry agreement to manufacture the debt ceiling crisis. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told reporters that in order to earn the vote of the Freedom Caucus, it was ​non-negotiable” that McCarthy promise he would ​shut down the government rather than raise the debt ceiling.” Now they’re holding McCarthy to his word.

In a recent article for In These Times, Max Sawicky laid out a compelling case for why the Biden administration needs to hold firm against the GOP. The programs Republicans are attempting to cut are popular, and it’s important to protect them as worthwhile in their own right. Sawicky also briefly mentioned one idea of several creative paths to bypass the Republican game of chicken and stave off global economic disaster: the minting of a trillion-dollar platinum coin. As X-date — the date at which the country can no longer meet its obligations — gets even closer, it may be time for us to begin considering this option as the most reasonable and viable course of action.

Fragment of American one dollar coin. Statue of Liberty and the sign of national currency. US economy and money. USA public debt and treasurys. Macro

Keep in mind that the debt ceiling is entirely arbitrary. The limit has been raised 78 times since 1960. And the limit is not a blank check for more spending. In reality, it is payment for spending that is already committed by Congress. Ninety-seven percent of these obligations were things agreed upon before the Biden Administration ever took office.

And Republican handwringing is, of course, entirely hypocritical. Congressional Republicans barely think of the budget when the GOP holds The White House. They only play this game of chicken when they are the opposition party.

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