Sorry, no, the Debt Ceiling Doesn't 'Make Perfect Sense' at all

Over at Balloon Juice, Tim F. writes,

It makes perfect sense to have some limit on how high government debt can get. You can’t have a situation where some poorly thought out program or budgeting accident runs up the national debt like a tween with no texting plan on her phone. 

This is absolutely wrong, although it's one of those very wrong things that appears to make intuitive sense.

There is no such thing as a "budgeting accident." The debt limit doesn't effectively control how much debt the government generates -- that's a simple matter of how much spending Congress authorizes minus current tax revenues. The limit just forces the government to default on any debt it generates over an arbitrary line. Which is, arguably, unconstitutional.

And it's also disastrous, which is why the limit has long been used to take the economy hostage in exchange for whatever some group of law-makers want to impose on the majority.

AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

Posted at May 27, 2011, 12:30pm

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