The Debt Ceiling Crisis

A Washington Post editorial last evening urges Biden to call the Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, and try to work out a compromise to save the United States from defaulting on its debts, a calamity that would have incalcuable negative reverberations. The only path to resolving the crisis would seem to be a compromise measure that a sufficient number of Democrats and Republicans would agree to. This seems unlikely to happen, because almost all the Republicans in the House are authoritarian-seeking extremists, and nothing short of a humiliating and precedent-setting surrender on the part of the Democrats would satisfy them. They may think, with some reason, that putting the blame on Biden for America defaulting on its debts would be their best hope for taking back the White House in 2024. In the end, I think that Biden will have to act unilaterally, citing Constitutional authority, to prevent a default and that it will be up to the right-wing dominated Supreme Court to save us. I’m not at all sure that it will be so inclined.