It has become a ritual for the House of Representatives and the Senate to ‘trade punches’ every year at this time in raising the debt ceiling.
Under normal circumstances, this would be a no-brainer since all Washington is doing is paying for the debt it has incurred over the past year.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has already warned of an “economic and financial catastrophe” waiting to happen for the United States and the Global economy if the government cannot raise the country’s debt ceiling.
“Early June is when we run out of cash to meet our obligations,” Yellen recently said in a media outlet.
Given the pending crisis, President Joe Biden has invited top congressional leaders to the White House to discuss the best way out or to avert the looming disaster.
If neither party blinks, one could easily see interest payments on government bonds curtailed, social security checks delayed, massive layoffs, and healthcare payments stalled, and a roller-coaster stock market, among other vagaries.
However, what is surprising, there is no collective outrage by the media, civil society, business leaders, and other stakeholders to hold party leaders accountable regarding the passing of the debt ceiling.
Furthermore, we notice, however, quite recently, over 1,400 tech leaders and academics, including Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp signed an open letter calling on Artificial Intelligence developers to pause training of some of their more sophisticated AI experiments.
The signatories cited risks they claim could result in “loss of control of our civilization.”
Couldn’t the government’s failure to act regarding the debt ceiling cause a devastating effect on the economy and change life as we know it?
Of course, many will see the comparison as a false equivalency, but both situations speak to the damaging effect of government inaction.
Truth be told, the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, albeit it has come to the brink of doing just that on more than one occasion.
We note that there is talk in officialdom on whether or not to invoke the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment for the first time — it says that the full faith and credit of the United States shall not be questioned.
The use of this provision would undoubtedly draw a legal challenge from those opposed to unilaterally increasing the debt ceiling.
Yellen has not ruled out this constitutional provision but characterized it as among a list of bad options.
“I don’t want to consider emergency options,” she said.
But it may come to that given the political divide and pussyfooting by members of Congress.
We watched with bated breath to see the outcome in the months ahead.
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Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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