By Alice Rivlin
This article was originally published on The American Square.
The process for raising the debt ceiling was unbelievably awful, outrageous, irresponsible, embarrassing–-no adjectives are too strong. A minority with inflexible views not only put the economic wellbeing of millions of their fellow citizens at risk, but put the world’s faith in the U.S. political system in jeopardy. We will all pay a price for this in the coming years.
That said, this deal could be a big plus for the cause of fiscal sanity. It all depends on what happens next. To be sure, Democratic critics blame the President for agreeing to cut spending too deeply without getting any revenue increases or new support for the flagging economy. And Republican critics blame the President for putting national security at risk with steep cuts to the defense budget, without reforming entitlements. However, both these views assume that the Joint Select Committee put in place to craft the second stage of the agreement will fail, triggering automatic additional spending cuts that both sides find unacceptable. But that scenario is not likely to happen.