What does it means that House Republicans approved a raise on the debt ceiling — Quora

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This move is largely symbolic. Speaker Boehner needs to show his caucus how futile their idealistic ideas of cutting their way to prosperity really are and that's what this does. This bill won't pass the Senate with the two-thirds majority that it needs and they know that. They just want to be on the record saying that they support raising the debt ceiling if everyone agrees to all of their demands.

Not only is cut, cap and balance a terrible idea in terms of policy, it's a terrible idea in terms of governing. By their own measure, Rep. Ryan's plan would be illegal under this plan. All of Reagan's and all of Bush's budgets would have been illegal and so would 6 out of 8 of President Clinton's. Now's not the time to add Constitutional amendments, it's time to start abiding by the Constitution that we have.

Ezra Klein summed it up really nicely:

As policy, Cut, Cap and Balance is an effort to take the lessons of the past 10 years and then pass a constitutional amendment preventing us from learning them. For instance: if you're worried about deficits today, you're partly worried about them because we passed about $2 trillion in unpaid-for tax cuts over the past decade or so, and then we had a financial crisis that jammed revenues further. CC&B's answer? Editing the Constitution so it includes a brand-new, two-thirds supermajority in both houses of congress to raise taxes. It takes our problem and makes it worse. More specifically, it takes the United States Constitution and rewrites it to ape California's budget process. I'm a Californian. The state's got great weather, waves and food. But you don't want their budget process. Trust me.

Robert Greenstein of the CBPP added the following doomsday information:

  • The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year that starts 75 days from now, despite a 9.2 percent unemployment rate. These cuts would equal 0.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 2012 and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.
  • The bill overturns a feature of various bipartisan budget laws over the past quarter century, by subjecting programs for the poorest Americans to the specter of meat-axe across-the-board cuts. It does so even as it protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue.

Bruce Bartlett points out why it's all just a political ploy (and a dangerous one at that) and that the cut, cap, and balance would be impossible to enforce, saying:

Until the last day of a fiscal year, it would be impossible to say, as a matter of law, that the balanced budget requirement had been violated. At that point, spending would have already occurred, and it’s not really feasible to tell people to send back some of their Social Security checks because the budget was unbalanced. And who is to say what spending was the amount that went above revenues and what wasn’t?

So, can we just put the political posturing aside and come to some sort of hybrid agreement between the Coburn, Gang of Six, and Simpson-Bowles plans? Wouldn't that be a heck of a lot simpler than pushing your ideological goals over on an increasingly skeptical electorate?


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