The Case for Moderate Optimism on the Debt Ceiling

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.)

Sometimes a writer needs to get out of his comfort zone. My comfort zone is pessimism.

About everything, really, but especially politics. Especially, especially Republican politics.

If you read this newsletter regularly, you know I’ve been true to form about the risk of an economic calamity caused by brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. This piece can be distilled to one quote: “The nuts in the new House majority are really going to do it.”

I stand by that. At least, I stand by the claim that there are many nuts in the new House majority who are prepared to go nuclear. If you disagree, watch this brief interview with Indiana Rep. Greg Pence. Will you agree to raise the debt ceiling, CNN reporter Manu Raju asks him. Nope, says Pence. Raju sweetens the pot: What if Democrats meet all of your demands?

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