"We shouldn’t dread the debt limit. We should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction."
— John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, tipping his hand. I’d say this is the first time you can see real fear of the status quo. More broadly, that doing nothing will fix most of the deficit over the near term by eliminating the Bush tax cuts and a few other money-sapping provisions. Were it deemed reasonably likely that Obama will win reelection in the fall, they’d quickly calculate that the only chance the GOP has for full extension of the Bush tax cuts is to force the issue before that happens. You do that by holding the full faith and credit of these United States hostage. Again. And the only way they get there is by reneging on their previous agreements and hope nobody remembers that they’re doing so. Nothing that has transpired in the past 20 years leads me to believe they are wrong on this count.
Sadly for them: they think this cunning scheme to yet again needlessly and recklessly and by choice yet again delivering the nation to the economic precipice has the benefit of being a big political winner for them. Sadly for the rest of us: you can only put this particular gun to the hostage’s head so many times before it gets fired. Maybe this time, maybe next. But soon.