Can We Abolish the Debt Ceiling Already?

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 11 2014 2:14 PM

Can We Abolish the Debt Ceiling Already?

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Sorry for wasting your time, guys.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The world got some great news today as John Boehner officially gave up on farcical efforts to play the debt ceiling hostage game again and says he'll bring a clean debt ceiling increase to the floor. The expectation is that most Republicans will vote "no," but enough will join with the Democrats for it to pass.

Good for us.

So now one question: With this whole terrible idea of using the debt ceiling as a policymaking opportunity behind us, can we just get rid of the darn thing? It serves no useful purpose beyond partisan needling. But it obviously doesn't systematically advantage either Democrats or Republicans. In the long run, the needling all just evens out. What you're left with is a negative-sum impact on the real world. So let's scrap it.

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Why not?

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.