The good news: in a vote early next week, the House will probably agree to lift the debt-ceiling, thereby preventing America from defaulting on its loans and sending the global economy into a tailspin—that is, assuming Speaker John Boehner can corral his troops into voting for a bill that “wouldn’t include immediate spending cuts,” Politico reports. The bad news: it’s a short-term solution only and the House wants to revisit the issue in just three months, thereby once again risking the possibility that America might default on its loans and send the global economy into a tailspin.
“The decision represents a victory—at least for now—for Mr. Obama, who has said for months that he will not negotiate budget cuts under the threat of a debt default,” The New York Times reports. “By punting that threat into the spring, budget negotiations instead will center on tw other points of leverage: March 1, when $1 trillion in across-the-board military and domestic cuts are set to begin, and March 27, when a stopgap law financing the government will expire.”
Another important point of leverage: this quasi-compromise dictates that the federal government “would withhold Congress’s paychecks if either chamber fails to adopt a budget by April 15,” according to The Washington Post. This is like the least leverage-y leverage ever, to paraphrase Girls, as “two-thirds of United States senators [and 240 members of the House] were millionaires in 2008, according to a recent analysis of politicians’ fortunes conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics.” The annual salary of member of Congress is $174,000 [http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm], money that wouldn’t be too sorely missed from the golden-lined pockets of, say, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), whose net worth is between $156.1 million and $451.1 million. Want to hit ’em where it really hurts? Ban elected officials from appearing on the Sunday talk shows until a budget is passed. You can’t put a price on ego.