Thursday, January 17, 2013

Republicans Getting Sensible About the Debt Ceiling

Several days ago we "suggested" that the Republicans not play dumb and dumber any longer with respect to raising the nation's debt ceiling. {See our post dated January 14 titled "President Obama Is Right About Raising the Debt Ceiling ..."}

Happily, it now seems like the Republicans may be on the verge of coming to the same sensible conclusion.

GOP Weighs Short-Term Debt-Limit Increase has the breaking news story:

"House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) on Thursday said Republicans are discussing whether to support a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing authority, possibly linking the debt ceiling to future talks aimed at reaching a major deficit deal.

Mr. Ryan, speaking to reporters at a Republican retreat at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, said lawmakers are reviewing options for dealing with the trio of fiscal deadlines in the next three months: the debt ceiling, automatic across-the-board spending cuts and the expiration of a temporary measure funding government operations.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, pictured on Capitol Hill on Jan. 1.

Mr. Ryan said no decisions have been made about how to approach the debt and spending negotiations, but that leaders hope House Republicans will reach consensus on a strategy by the end of the week.

The former vice-presidential candidate said "we're discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit" increase that would lead to broader deficit talks with Senate Democrats and the White House. "We hope to achieve consensus on a plan to proceed so we can make progress on controlling spending and deficits and debt," Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan wouldn't say what he meant by a temporary debt-ceiling increase, declining to give a specific increase figure or timeframe for an extension. But Mr. Ryan said the goal by the end of the spring was to make headway on tackling the country's deficits and debts.

The government was scheduled to hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Dec. 31, 2012, but the Treasury has begun using emergency measures to allow the government to continue issuing debt. Automatic spending cuts from the 2011 deficit agreement are set to take effect on March 1 and a six-month measure funding the federal government expires on March 27."

Summing Up

That's good news.

Let's get the theatrics off the table and "encourage" both the Democrats and Republicans to come to grips with our government's out-of-control spending and our nation's deficits and debts.

It's long overdue for the aristocrats in Washington to do some real bipartisan work on our country's financial problems.

That's what we pay them to do. Not to play unserious political games.

Thanks. Bob.

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