Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Trillion-Dollar Coin, We Hardly Knew Ye

Of the more awkward fixes to the debt ceiling crisis (which is a real immediate thing, unlike the debt crisis, which isn't so much), the one that held a particular romance was the trillion-dollar coin idea. I never held much stock by it, because it basically looked gimmicky and distracted from the real problem, which is congressional Republicans who really don't have a problem with crashing the economy over a hissy fit called "not getting enough attention.  The Treasury Department has shot this one down:
The Treasury Department "will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to get around the debt ceiling. If they did, the Federal Reserve would not accept it," the Washington Post reports. 
Said a spokesman: "Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit."
Which I would say is all to the good. In the meanwhile, James Fallows presents "The Two Sentences That Must Be Part of All Discussion of the Debt Ceiling":

1) Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize one single penny in additional public spending. 
2) For Congress to "decide whether" to raise the debt ceiling, for programs and tax rates it has already voted into law, makes exactly as much sense as it would for a family to "decide whether" to pay a credit-card bill for goods it has already bought.
Damn, do I wish that we could count on our professional journalists to interrupt the debt ceiling grandstanders with this just to see if (heaven help us) our congresscritters actually understand this.  And either make them admit it if they don't understand it, or make them admit they just don't care if they do understand it.

Which leaves the White House with what? Well--standing firm.  Via Krugman:

Meanwhile, I get calls. The White House insists that it is absolutely, positively not going to cave or indeed even negotiate over the debt ceiling — that it rejected the coin option as a gesture of strength, as a way to put the onus for avoiding default entirely on the GOP. 
Truth or famous last words? I guess we’ll find out.

That's what I'm talking about!

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