In this debt-limit game of musical chairs, the music has stopped and it’s time to grab a seat. The only one available is the deal worked out by congressional leaders and the Obama administration over the weekend. It is not a solution to our nation’s fiscal problems and is far from the “grand bargain” needed to put us on a sustainable path. However, a debt-limit deal needs to get done. This one at least avoids a self-inflicted wound caused by the government’s defaulting on its obligations, and it gives proponents of a grand bargain another turn at bat.
The main flaw in the agreement is that it reflects the continued refusal of our political leaders to confront fiscal reality. Once again, they are leading with discretionary spending cuts while leaving the biggest problems -- entitlement and tax reform -- for another day.
If this is what they have to do to pass a debt limit increase, so be it. But no one should pretend that they have solved anything other than an artificial political crisis. The fundamental fiscal crisis is pretty much unchanged.
A positive element is the proposed special congressional committee charged with finding deficit reductions beyond the initial trillion-dollar down payment. The committee is the only aspect of the agreement that...