The Crazy Debt Limit Should Go

Special Publication
Friday, October 13, 2017

The original purpose of the statutory debt limit was to remove the requirement that Congress authorize individual issuances of debt, rather than keep the government from acquiring too much debt. In a guest opinion piece in The Hill, Robert Bixby and James Carter write that today the debt limit is doing more harm than good. Read the full article here.


"Crazy People," the 88th-best grossing movie of 1990, features Dudley Moore as, in the words Roger Ebert, “a demented and crazed advertising genius who gets fed up with the hypocrisy of routine advertising and creates his own campaigns — campaigns that tell the literal, brutal, sacrilegious truth.”  

Case in point: “Metamucil…if you don't use it, you'll get cancer and die.”  Taking a page from Moore’s playbook, President Trump and congressional Democrats now use similarly blunt language as they speak of abolishing the federal debt limit.  It’s far from a crazy idea.


Robert Bixby is executive director of The Concord Coalition, an organization that encourages fiscal responsibility in Washington. James Carter served as the head of tax policy implementation on President Trump’s transition team. Previously, he was a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury and deputy undersecretary of labor under President George W. Bush.