Bush and Reagan admin economist: Abolish the debt ceiling law

Bush 41 and Reagan economist Bruce Bartlett is again urging the abolition of the debt ceiling:

Almost 10 years ago, I testified before the Senate Finance Committee that the debt limit should be abolished. Among the others who testified that day, including Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, no one supported my position. [..]

Unless the party holding the White House has a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives and at least 60 seats in the Senate, raising the debt limit is going to remain a means by which the minority party can impose its demands on the majority.

Even if the Treasury avoids default on government debt this week, we will inevitably have to go through the same political drama the next time the debt limit runs out and every time thereafter. And sooner or later the shoe will be on the other foot, as Democrats hold the debt limit hostage against a Republican president.

Without having written on the subject, I’ve often thought abolition of the debt ceiling would make a good example of what liberals should have been demanding in the debt ceiling fight from the very beginning, in order to make sure any deal was centered, not center-right, and certainly not extremely far right like it ended up being.

Ideally any reasonable person would agree that the debt ceiling should be repealed, mostly because never once in history has it ever actually worked. Every single time the country has neared the ceiling, the Congress has simply built a taller ceiling.

But this isn’t an ideal world. It’s a rotten, corrupt world held hostage by extremists on the right that are going to do this again with the 2012 budget and the next debt ceiling increase and anything else they can temporarily block that will harm America. Because that’s what terrorists exist to do.

The Tea Party’s War on America

Joe Nocera says what everyone is thinking today, and what some people have been saying for the past couple of years, RE: the American Taliban:

You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them.

Like ideologues everywhere, they scorned compromise. When John Boehner, the House speaker, tried to cut a deal with President Obama that included some modest revenue increases, they humiliated him. After this latest agreement was finally struck on Sunday night — amounting to a near-complete capitulation by Obama — Tea Party members went on Fox News to complain that it only called for $2.4 trillion in cuts, instead of $4 trillion. It was head-spinning.

These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took.

It was clear since the GOP caused a near-government shutdown earlier this year that Republicans have gone off the deep end, willing to destroy this country to get what they want from Big Government politically. It’s why I named this blog Scorched America, from the Scorched Earth strategy where if people can’t have life their way, they’d be perfectly happy destroying it as an alternative. That’s the Tea Party and increasingly the Republican Party itself, in a nutshell.