David Harsanyi makes a good argument:
It is reprehensible how politicians waste our time with whimsical notions about "debt ceilings" and "budgets." A federal debt limit is much like other government guidelines--e.g., "speed limits" and "filing taxes"--that exist only theoretically. In the past decade, Congress has raised the debt limit -- instituted in 1917 to restrain spending--10 times, and the U.S. has reached its ceiling 74 times since President Barack Obama's birth. So in other words, technically speaking, there is no ceiling. We might as well eliminate it.
I agree that it's tough to see the purpose of a "limit" that doesn't effectively limit anything.
I love this opening to a Katherine Mangu-Ward review
of Listed, a book about
the politics of endangered species:
Wolves are notoriously slow to hire lobbyists. Lichen doubly so.
Ms. Mangu-Ward is both perceptive and funny.
If you're the sort of person (like me) that thinks President Obama
can't get anything right,
Taylor and Peter Van Doren will try to convert you on the issue
of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.
First of all, let the record show that President Obama is right and the GOP is wrong about these tax breaks. They make the economy less--not more--efficient and do nothing to reduce prices at the pump.
You'll want to read to the end, however: Jerry and Peter point out that Obama only gets two cheers: he's indulged in shameless demagoguery on the issue; he falsely claims that eliminating the tax breaks will lower pump prices; he fails to extend his (correct) arguments to other more politically-favored industries; he proposes to extend and expand equally-indefensible subsidies to "renewable" energy industries.
So it's kind of like applauding a stopped clock because it's right twice a day. Still…