To Grasp GOP Debt Stand, Picture a Bank Robber ...

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House Speaker John Boehner is reported to have told fellow Republicans that he won’t allow the federal government to default. He said he will see to it that the debt ceiling is raised, even if it means passing a bill with the support of Democrats and a minority of Republicans. Here’s what Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel told the Washington Post:

In other words, he’s going to make sure that the debt ceiling is raised, but only on condition that the measure to raise the ceiling includes some other fiscal and budgetary actions that the Republicans favor. Ezra Klein at the Washington Post Wonkblog unpacks what this means:

If you dig a little deeper, you come to a pretty shocking bottom line:

Whenever two sides sit down to negotiate serious differences, they both understand that they will have to give up something they value, because the other side wants it. Boehner, Paul Ryan and others are said to be talking about a “grand bargain” that gets the government’s fiscal house in order.

And what thing of value does each side give up? According to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, the Democrats agree to entitlement reform—meaning lowering the costs of Social Security and Medicare—and Republicans agree to tax reforms with no revenue increase (which for Democrats, you’ll recall, means no genuine tax reform) and raising the debt ceiling.

Bottom line: Republicans agree to the painful concession of letting the government pay its debts.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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To Grasp GOP Debt Stand, Picture a Bank Robber ...

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