Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Pawlenty's Middle Path

Even as Reuters posits bipartisan support for the premise that "Congress must allow the country to borrow more to avoid a debt default that would wreak havoc on financial markets and imperil the U.S. economy," Pawlenty has struck a rogue position:

WALLACE: But you would say to the Republicans up in that building behind me do not raise the debt limit?

PAWLENTY: That's right. And, in fact, to avoid the default, I would take it one step further, send the president a piece of legislation that authorizes the federal government to sequence the pain of its bills so that we don't default on the debt obligation and then have the debate about how we reduce the other spending.

Republicans have indicated that their strategy is to bluff, threatening not to raise the debt ceiling in order to pry concessions on spending from Democrats. Considering the absurdity of planning a bluff after showing their cards, the GOP seems unlikely to achieve anything significant from this compromise. If Pawlenty's tactic is viable, it would be the first major test of Tea Party principles in Congress - a firm, but realistic, stance on fiscal reform.

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