Tell Congress to choose compromise over crisis.
It has arrived right on schedule. The U.S. Government has reached the debt ceiling. Congress must now raise or suspend the debt ceiling, or the U.S. will lack sufficient funds to pay its debts and meet other obligations. Any type of default would damage the U.S. and the global economy and should be avoided. For Congress, this is another opportunity to tie itself in knots over spending and cause widespread economic damage, to do the right thing only after exploring every other option (lurching from crisis-to-crisis), or simply strike a sensible deal and move on.
I know what you are thinking: “Didn’t we just go through this?” Yes we did. But remember what I said a few weeks ago: “Trying to get Congress to do its job is more tiring than being the parent of a toddler, and more frustrating than herding cats.”
Fortunately, as I noted a few weeks ago, the House and Senate leadership have been negotiating with the White House on a package deal to set spending targets and priorities for the next two years and lift the debt ceiling. Although the deal is not perfect – it increases discretionary spending and suspends the debt ceiling without fully addressing public investment gaps or rising entitlement costs – it is perfectly reasonable. It also has the virtue of providing two years of stability and predictability in government operations and spending.
The deal, though, must be approved by a majority of both Chambers. And because the deal has something for each Party to like, that means it also has terms that each Party will dislike. This is the essence of compromise. With “compromise” now a dirty word in Washington, it is up to us to remind our elected officials that we favor compromises over crises. So, it’s time for us to write another set of emails to our Representatives and Senators asking them to make a deal. It worked last time. Let’s hope it works again.