Monday, August 01, 2011

Debt Ceiling Shakedown Strategy

The Republican debt ceiling shakedown strategy worked, partly because they were willing to wreck the economy if they didn't get their way, but mostly, I think, because the President failed to come up with a counterstrategy. If he had had to deal with failure to pass the debt ceiling increase, he steadfastly refused to go beyond vague threats.

Instead, I argue, he should have been very specific about what he would have cut, and where, and done it in such a way as to inflict maximum pain on the districts of tea party members. Then he should have invited Congress to come up with its own ideas, and veto any legislation he didn't like.

Governors and CEOs constantly have to make that sort of choice, and Obama should have welcomed the chance to destroy those and exactly those programs he found wasteful.

What would have been so hard about that?