McCarthy has no room to negotiate deal on debt ceiling

Once again, like clockwork, the nation is about to engage in our debt ceiling Kabuki dance. Both sides will try to stare each other down. Who will blink first? It would be almost funny if the stakes weren’t so high.

We know well what happens if the debt ceiling is not extended, if the U.S. defaults on its obligations for the first time in history. A catastrophic cascade of events — recession, market crash, job loss, interest rate hike, chaos engulfing Social Security and Medicare, loss of credit rating for the U.S., global financial turbulence — would ensue. Even approaching the precipice has serious costs. The consequences are so dire that basic sanity, one would think, would be more than adequate to prevent it. But maybe not this time.

It was predictable that Republicans, who had no problem adding $6.7 trillion in new debt under President Trump, would suddenly become paragons of fiscal responsibility. In the past such hypocrisy always ultimately yielded to common sense. This time, however, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has zero room to maneuver. His earlier concessions to the fringe ensures that just one member can put his speakership in serious jeopardy. McCarthy knows that only too well. This time God help us.

Sankar Ray


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