Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

And Brutus Is an Honorable Man

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If I didn’t know better, I’d almost have to think Republicans aren’t negotiating in good faith:

So when the GOP’s economic policy team sat down to make the strongest case they could for growth-inducing deficit reduction, they recommended a mix an 85:15 mix, not a 100:0 mix. And then, when the Obama administration agreed to an 83:17 mix, the Republican leadership walked out of the room and demanded that taxes be excluded from the deal altogether. How do you negotiate with that?

Mr. President, it’s time for Plan B.

UPDATE: Jonathan Chait takes aim at the only person I’ve seen arguing against the wisdom of this plan, who is weirdly also Ezra Klein:

Indeed, it’s not even clear that the Republican leadership actually wants the enormous and destructive power it now demands. Its base may be demanding a debt ceiling showdown, out of specific opposition to Obama and general ignorance of how the debt ceiling works. But John Boehner knows full well that we can’t just ignore the debt ceiling. If Obama successfully asserts the power to ignore the debt ceiling vote, then he’ll allow the debt negotiations to proceed in a less fraught environment, and have defused a massive source of ongoing political instability. Cutting a deal to lift the debt ceiling may soothe the markets more in the short term, but it merely pushes the political risk further back.

More than that, Ezra’s argument (he has a second attempt here) is incoherent at a fundamental level. Whatever the markets might infer about the dysfunction of the American political system from Obama’s declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, there’s no way it could ever be worse than default, which would catapult us long past inference, and simply remove all doubt.

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