This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
It’s still only May, and the nation’s economic interests have already taken a back seat to the November elections.
House Speaker John Boehner is dropping dark hints about forcing another debt-limit showdown, the first of which – last summer – shook the financial markets and led to a downgrade of America’s credit rating.
After a testy exchange Wednesday with President Barack Obama, Boehner had an aide tell the public that the House wouldn’t approve any increase in the debt limit “without doing something about the debt.”
Obama’s press secretary countered with a presidential vow to reject “an approach that asks the middle class and senior citizens to make sacrifices without asking for anything more from millionaires and billionaires.”
That’s pretty much sums up the competing political pitches of Republicans and Democrats: For public consumption at least, Republicans insist America’s $15.7 trillion national debt can be handled with spending cuts alone.
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