The Corner

It’s Called a Debt Limit for a Reason

Here’s a question for those who insist we must have a “clean” hike in the debt limit. Why have a debt limit at all? I mean, if it should automatically be raised the second you reach it without precondition, isn’t it a purely arbitrary and fictional barrier? I tried to make this point last night on Special Report, and it came out a bit clumsy, in part because I used the mathematically rigorous term “kuh-trillion.”

The whole point about a debt limit is that it is supposed to be a limit. Limits can be raised, of course. But if you go to the bank after exceeding your debt limit, the bank will — or at least has every right to — ask for more collateral, better terms, whatever. If you max out all of your credit cards and then go hat in hand to relatives begging for more money, they have every right to put you on a repayment plan, cut up your cards, whatever.

If reaching the national debt limit isn’t a moment for at least debating if not  imposing such measures why have a limit at all? Just raise it to “infinity plus one” (is that more numerate than “kuh-trillion”?) and be done with the topic forever.

Update: I didn’t see Steve’s post below until I posted this. I guess it’s “Rhetorical Question Tuesday”! Who among us isn’t excited about that?

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