It’s debt ceiling time, and the United States economy is once again on the brink, held hostage by extremists hell-bent on forcing cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
Oh, wait. That was last year.
In 2014, for the first time in three years, the vote to extend the nation’s debt ceiling did not bring the United States to the brink of default in a high-stakes game of slash and burn.
Last week, the House voted to raise the government’s borrowing limit until March 2015 without any conditions. In fact, if the Speaker had his way, he would have tied the vote to the repeal of cuts to military retirement pensions. The Senate concurred, sending a clean debt ceiling bill to the President’s desk.
It was a striking turnaround for the forces of austerity. One of the biggest losers? The Campaign to Fix the Debt, the $40 million astroturf austerity group, financed by Pete Peterson and other Wall Street bigwigs, and fronted by Maya MacGuineas, Erskine Bowles, and Alan Simpson.
Call it Alan Simpson’s last harrumph.