Back when there were discussion about what the Democratic Congress could do to require President Bush to end combat operations in Iraq, one of the main arguments I made was that the Democrats needed to announce a date certain when they would no longer fund combat operations in Iraq. (It goes without saying that no one listened to me. They never do.) So I am intrigued by Matt Yglesias' strategy proposal for the coming debt ceiling "hostage situation:"
It’s a two pronged strategy. The first one is a credible, repeated commitment not to surrender anything in exchange for getting congress to agree to the debt ceiling being increased. After all, why should anything be given up. [. . .] The second prong, important for credibility, is to move to thinking about what happens as we reach the ceiling.
This isn’t a sudden “shutdown.” Nor is is true that we have to default on obligations to our bondholders. Rather, it means that government outlays are now limited by the quantity of inbound tax revenue. But for a while, the people administering the federal government [. . .] will be able to selectively stiff people. So the right strategy is to start stiffing people Republicans care about. When bills to defense contractors come due, don’t pay them. Explain they’ll get 100 percent of what they’re owed when the debt ceiling is raised. [. . .]
I like this strategy. Chances of it being adopted? Precisely zero. The confidence fairy must be fed after all.
Speaking for me only
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