Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

You, Treasury Secretary Geithner, and other members of your administration have warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling by August 2 will have far-ranging, “catastrophic” effects, including plunging the United States economy into a depression. Nonetheless, you insist that Congress should pass only a debt-ceiling increase that extends beyond the 2012 presidential election; yesterday, you released a statement saying that your senior advisers had counseled you to veto a short-term increase in the debt ceiling. This despite the fact that short-term debt-ceiling increases (i.e., less than a year) are common, having been enacted dozens of times just since the Reagan administration.

Why is a short-term debt-ceiling increase unacceptable now when they’ve been routine and unremarkable in the past?

Presuming for a moment that your veto threat is sincere, shouldn’t Americans logically conclude that you consider winning reelection more important than forestalling an economic catastrophe and throwing millions more Americans out of work?

Do you expect most congressional Republicans to fall for your veto threat and cave? If so, will you please join my Thursday night poker games and bring those Republicans with you?

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