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Political theater

"Political theater" Continued...

Meanwhile, Boehner insisted that any debt limit increase “has to be accomplished by spending reductions that meet or exceed it.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney called “inappropriate” the demand to tie an increase in the debt limit to spending cuts.

“Asking that a political price be paid in order for Congress to do its job to ensure that the United States of America pays its bill and does not default for the first time in history is deeply irresponsible,” Carney said.

The back and forth seems similar to the rhetoric from the summer of 2010 when Democrats and Republicans last clashed on the raising of the debt ceiling. That verbal brawl created the scenario (automatic spending cuts and tax increases) that has now been dubbed the “fiscal cliff.” Lawmakers now have a month to either compromise, go over the cliff, or (more likely) come up with another plan to kick the hard decisions farther down the road.

For many Americas, watching the politicians from President Lincoln’s day eradicate slavery in Steven Spielberg’s latest movie might be more enjoyable than enduring the sight of today’s politicians steering the nation toward the fiscal cliff.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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