Joshua Green: “The dirty secret about debt-limit brinkmanship is that it doesn’t do anything to reduce spending. It’s a cynical deception perpetrated by both parties on the millions of Americans who are unfamiliar with the goofy, pointless, and potentially costly two-step process by which Congress allots and spends taxpayer money.”
“Most people assume, not unreasonably, that refusing to raise the debt limit will force a cut in government spending. But that’s not how the process works.
“First, Congress passes a budget resolution that determines how much money will be spent—think of it as ordering dinner from a restaurant menu. Then Congress raises the debt limit to allow for that spending, effectively paying for dinner when the waiter brings the bill. Refusing to raise the debt limit is like haggling over the tab for a dinner you’ve already consumed. Why are there two steps? No good reason at all.”Save to Favorites