Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Debt Ceiling

Shutdown: Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Game

Today I’ve been reading around the internet the myriad reactions to the US government shutdown. Seemingly universally, these reactions all assign blame for the shutdown to someone. Most are blaming congressional republicans, but some are blaming senate democrats and the administration, while others are blaming both at once. I wish to challenge this entire way of talking about the government shutdown by arguing that the shutdown is the result of structural forces outside the control of any of the participating factions. I will argue that instead of blaming republicans, democrats, or both, we should blame none of the above. Instead of hating the players, we should hate the game–the political institutions that have failed us.

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Debt Ceiling Warz Episode II

Once more republicans in congress are planning to fight over the debt ceiling, refusing to raise it unless the president defunds health reform. Barack Obama insists that the debt ceiling is “not a bargaining chip”. Health reform is the primary lasting legislative achievement of his administration, and he insists he will not abandon it. The trouble is that Tea Party republicans don’t believe his threat to starve them out is credible. Why is that? That’s the topic of today’s post.

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Denarius Ex Machina

As the United States approaches yet another debt ceiling fight, an interesting idea has surfaced that might allow the whole mess to be circumnavigated altogether–the minting of a trillion dollar super coin. There are a few things to examine with regard to this proposal–why are we considering it, can it be done, what consequences would it have, and what are the possible alternatives?

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The Fiscal Cliff: Stepping Back From the Abyss

A couple days later than perhaps would have made a decent show, Congress managed to slap together a stop-gap and avert the economic catastrophe that the CBO projected would have resulted from the fiscal cliff. So let’s get to business–what does the cliff deal do, and where does this leave us going forward?

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