A lose-lose political proposition on the debt ceiling debate
The death of a grand bargain on raising the debt ceiling — announced moments ago by President Obama — not only heightens the policy stakes as the default deadline rapidly approaches but creates the very real possibility that the issue will be a major political loser for everyone involved.
“We have now run out of time,” Obama said in a hastily called public event Friday evening in which he was barely able to contain his anger at the inability of the two sides to cut a deal.
He said he planned to bring the Congressional leaders of both parties to the White House on Saturday at 11 a.m. to figure out whether there was a way forward to avoid default.
While sources in Congress suggested that a smaller bore deal was likely since no one wanted to risk the political and financial consequences of default, the process of negotiating a debt ceiling increase has been so unpredictable that predicting the future outcome is a dangerous game.
What’s less difficult to predict is that the blame game that will dominate the news over the next 48-72 hours — and likely beyond that — will further sour people on the federal government and the politicians who operate within it.
And that’s very bad news for both parties.