Debt-ceiling Fight Over?
July 26, 2011
Last Friday, Speaker of the House John Boehner finally walked out on the unproductive talks with President Obama; he cut Obama out of the loop and went to negotiate directly with Democrats in the Senate, which arguably makes a lot more sense.
By yesterday, Boehner had already come up with a new plan, which he believes can pass both the Republican House and the Democratic Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also offering a Democratic alternative. Reuters gives more information on both plans here. An opinion piece on Reuters provides some analysis and argues that with respect to getting the debt under control, “the Boehner plan is not only far better than the Reid plan, it is a pretty darn good plan in and of itself.”
From a policy point of view, Yuval Levin agrees that the Boehner plan is pretty good, and the best that conservatives could have hoped for under current political constraints. Levin adds, “Even the Reid bill, . . . would be a better conclusion than has seemed plausible throughout much of this process,” and “Something between the two bills, which is now perhaps the most that Democrats can hope for, would be an extraordinary win for Republicans.”
From a political point of view, former Senator Fred Thompson argues that the Republicans have already won a great victory here.
Meanwhile Thomas Sowell argues that having a legal debt ceiling in the first place does more harm than good, while Mario Loyola makes the case for either a constitutional balanced-budget amendment or other deep, structural reforms.