To deal with the fear of Congress possibly holding the debt limit hostage Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to permanently give the power to the President. From the Hill:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will propose legislation that would make permanent a plan to take the decision to raise the country’s debt limit out of Congress’s hands.
By making the so-called “McConnell rule” permanent, the president would have ultimate authority to raise the debt limit and prevent the United States from defaulting.
Congress would still have power to oppose raising the debt ceiling but would not have to vote to increase the borrowing limit.
This is a stupid “solution” to a really stupid problem.
The debt limit is a totally unnecessary procedure that adds no value but could potentially do serious harm. We have accidentally created a policy nuclear bomb with no function that can damage our economy if not constantly reset. Now that politicians have started threatening to let it go off we have a real problem.
Schumer plan would stop one branch of Congress from trying to use it to hold the country to make demands, but it would still let the President possibly use it for hostage taking. You might not think no President would ever be stupid enough to play games with the debt limit, but only five years ago people would have said the same thing about Congress. After all Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) looks like he is setting up a presidential run
The way to deal with an idiotic policy nuclear bomb is not to reduce the number of people with access to the trigger, it is to permanently defuse it.
What Congress should do is just pass a law saying the Treasury can always borrow whatever is necessary to pay the bills authorized by Congress. This would eliminate the stupid debt limit forever.
Photo by Third Way under Creative Commons license