Culture Wars/Current Controversies

‘Debt-Ceiling Extortion Is an Attack on Democracy,’ by Jonathan Chait

— Justin Miller, deputy editor, Intelligencer

Last Thursday, around the time you were probably catching up on the latest thing George Santos lied about, the U.S. government practically ran out of money. The nation hit its debt limit, and the only reason the stock market didn’t melt down is that Washington resorted to creative accounting measures. These gimmicks can only buy time, though — unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling, the government will run out of money to pay its bills, shut down, and become a deadbeat to its creditors. This is exactly what Republicans want to happen unless President Biden agrees to make deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The turmoil from the destruction of U.S. creditworthiness is hard to contemplate, but Jonathan Chait writes that there is another potential casualty: democracy. Republicans can’t sell voters on destroying the welfare state and were thrown out of power in the White House and Senate already, so they’re trying to force a revolution in domestic policy through the equivalent of taking the nation hostage. Will Biden let them?
Debt-Ceiling Extortion Is an Attack on Democracy If Republicans want to cut spending, they should win an election and do it themselves.
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
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