From Politico (link):
Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday urged House Republicans to “save their powder” for the debt ceiling fight in a few months, instead of getting blamed for holding out on the Senate-backed fiscal cliff deal and then “fold like a cheap suit.”
“Do the best you can, make it (the cliff deal) better if you can, but here’s reality: Right now all tax rates have gone up on all Americans,” the South Carolina Republican said. “You need to understand this: If we don’t get this tax rate problem fixed for all Americans, the economy is going to collapse, the stock market will go down, the Defense Department is going to become unraveled.”
He continued: “We’re going to get blamed and about two weeks into this, we’ll fold like a cheap suit. … Save your powder for the debt ceiling fight.”
Probably the right political message from the Senator to his House colleagues, but I continue to think advocating the use of debt-default against your own country’s president is something other than normal political fighting, and stands against the fabric of any definition of ‘responsible governance.’ An alternative view is provided by Ramesh Ponnuru, who dismisses the debt-default debate of 2011 as having no discernible economic impact (link). Regardless, I don’t like what the use of debt-default as leverage, especially on the part of so-called moderates like Lindsey Graham, says about the incentives facing Republican actors, and what I can expect from them going forward, as they help design US political-economic structure.