David Frum

05.09.13

Defusing the Debt Ceiling

Read John Avlon on the useful idea for a compromise that could defuse some of the tension involved with the debt ceiling.

[T]he new responsible Republican proposal, which passed the House Thursday by a vote of 221-207, could be the best way to defuse the debt ceiling from its most destructive impact.

The “Full Faith and Credit Act”, proposed by Republican representative Tom McClintock and backed by powerful House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp would empower the U.S. Treasury to pay down all interest payments on the national debt in the event of a confrontation over raising the debt ceiling. In other words, the link between debt ceiling and the risk of default would be removed. The bill would also ensure that the Social Security Administration could access its own trust fund to pay social security benefits and disability payments on time by allowing the treasury to issue debt specifically tied to these benefits.