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Inside the latest debt limit fracas: How D.C. pols play us like violins


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Investors Business Daily:

Well, that didn't take long.

We've run out of money again as a country and need to borrow another trillion or so.

Remember that end-of-the-world scuffle last summer over the debt ceiling, back when Michele Bachmann was a likely lock as the Republican nominee this year? And for the first time ever the United States lost its AAA credit rating, despite Tim Geithner's attempted pre-emption?

You thought the Republican House, Democrat Senate and Chicago White House settled all that, right? The debt ceiling, that is.

Well, you're right. They did.

So, why then is President Obama now asking Congress for authority to borrow $1.2 trillion more and take the country's galactic national debt numbers up to $16,400,000,000,000.00?

That's larger than the entire output of the United States economy. Has that Democrat no spending shame? Or limits? Or smarts? In a presidential reelection year?

Well, here's how both parties in Washington play the rest of us out here in the audience, building politically profitable conflict into everyday life, even by the president who's loving travel into the countryside to denounce Washington's gridlocked partisan ways that he helps prolong.

All sides did reach a debt ceiling agreement on Aug. 2, allowing the limit to rise to its next historical zenith, $16.4 trillion. That agreement, you might remember, also included a provision to cut spending by $2.4 trillion. So far, so good.

Now, see if you can follow this Washington logic:

In writing the debt increase authorization up to $16.4 trillion, both parties and the president broke it into three stages. At each stage the president would notify Harry Reid and John Boehner that "further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments."

Each notice started a clock that gave each legislative chamber 15 days to block each increase with a "resolution of disapproval." Yes, even though each chamber had already approved the three increases and the president had already signed it. Call it a legislative morning-after pill.

The Republicans, who won House control in the 2010 midterm elections by gasping over Obamacare and his spendthrift ways, are predictably likely to pass a disapproval resolution.

The Democrats, who won Senate control in 2006 and stand a good chance of losing their Slim-Fast majority on Nov. 6, would predictably block the House resolution.

So, the requested debt limit increase that was already approved last summer would take effect this winter anyway, as all three sides full well knew from the start.

Even if a handful of Dems facing the seething electorate this fall rebelled and conspired with the GOP minority to allow the disapproval resolution through the Senate, Obama would veto the whole thing anyway. As everyone knew from the start.snip
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