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Taking The Platinum Coin (And Other Gimmicks) Off The Table

by Stuart Shapiro

Some on the left are complaining about President Obama (although of course it was actually the Department of the Treasury) taking the platinum coin option off the table as a way of dealing with House Republican threats to throw the country into default.  Steve Benen explains the logic:

Over the weekend, with the administration scuttling the coin idea altogether, Republicans suddenly find themselves right back where they were — with all the pressure squarely on their shoulders. They started the debt-ceiling crisis, and now it’s on them to resolve it, one way or the other. If GOP policymakers want to avoid a global economic catastrophe of their own making, they’ll have to come to their senses before it’s too late.

Like it or not, there is no escape hatch; there is no pressure valve; there is no gimmick that can save the day at the last minute. Republicans can either do the right thing or the wrong thing. They can either hurt Americans or come to their senses. There are plenty of remaining questions — does the GOP want a default; do they understand the severe consequences of their actions — but asking what Obama will do to prevent the Republican crisis is no longer one of them.

My guess is that the House leadership folds on the debt ceiling but does not do so on shutting down the government when the continuing resolutions run out in March.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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