Concord Coalition Seeks 'More Rational And Effective Alternative' to Debt Ceiling

Published Feb 3, 2014. By John Shaw. In Market News International (MNI).

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. statutory debt ceiling may be conceptually flawed, practically ineffectual, and historically anachronistic, but that has not prevented a raft of of budget and policy think tanks from creating a veritable cottage industry devoted to the study of this budget instrument.

The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that has taken the study of the debt ceiling to new levels of intricate analysis, hosted an event Monday morning with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to discuss the debt ceiling.

Lew's remarks were followed by a panel of budget experts including a former Federal Reserve governor, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, and an Australian diplomat.

The center issued a frequently-cited policy paper last week that argues the statutory debt ceiling must be increased between February 28 and March 25. The BPC even has a video on its website to discuss the mechanics of Treasury's "extraordinary measures".

The Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group, released a statement Monday urging Congress to overhaul the current debt ceiling with a "more rational and effective alternative - one that provides more than a false impression of fiscal rectitude."

The Concord Coalition urges Congress to create a Debt Limit Reform Commission to come up with mechanism to link the nation's debt to "economically relevant standard" such as the rate of economic growth.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has an "Everything You Should Know About the Debt Ceiling" report on its website, saying that it hopes the document serves as a "useful primer on the debt ceiling."

The Heritage Foundation has a section of its website devoted to debt ceiling reports and essays.

The Congressional Research Service, a unit of the Library of Congress, has more than 100 reports on its website that discuss the debt ceiling.

The Treasury Department has on its website a debt ceiling white paper and about two dozen letters sent by Lew and his predecessor, Tim Geithner, to Congress on the need to increase the debt ceiling.