As uncertain and unruly and disheveled as the debt-ceiling debate may be, there are still good grounds to reach a deal. It could help the economy. It could keep the policy ball moving in the direction of smaller government. It could add a key business tax incentive for economic growth. And it could even stabilize the dollar.
There really are two problems here: First is raising the debt ceiling to avoid default. (That’s a real good idea.) Second is stuffing enough spending and deficit reduction into the deal to accommodate the newly militant demands of S&P and Moody’s, who want roughly $4 trillion in cuts over ten years in order to keep our AAA rating.