January 17th, 2012
This week, barring some extraordinary unforeseen circumstance, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to reject President Obama’s request to raise the debt ceiling.
“Oh no,” I can already hear America’s collective sigh. “Are you kidding me? Again?”
Well, actually, not again.
In case you need a reminder of the horrific events of last August (I certainly don’t want one), in what should have been a routine vote, Congress nearly failed to raise the debt ceiling, which would have sparked an economic Armageddon. I do not use that term lightly. Just in case you need another reminder, the debt ceiling has nothing...
July 15th, 2011
The U.S. Federal government is in some dark times. Unable to find a political compromise to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. faces a potential economic catastrophe. Negotiations are stalling. Tempers are flaring on both sides of the aisle. The key point of contention? Tax increases. President Obama has reportedly endorsed reducing the debt by $2 trillion with 83% of the reduction coming from spending cuts and 17% coming from new revenues. Those proposed new revenues (or “tax increases” as some have called them) would have come from closing tax loopholes for things like corporate jet ownership. But House...
July 12th, 2011
If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling before August 2nd, there will be an economic Armageddon.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, I’m opposed to this sort of sensationalist statement. American politics has become far too wrapped up in overstating the consequences of a particular moment, occurrence, or action. Even economists, who as a general rule are a pretty levelheaded bunch, have exhibited a strong tendency to sound sensational over the last few years.
The reason for this, partly, is that the Great Recession has brought with it a series of critical economic moments that really have required swift and...