Republicans hate, hate raising the debt limit. Democrats, including Obama, didn’t much like it when George W. Bush was president either, but for the GOP, which has become consumed by the idea of spending cuts and debt reduction, raising the limit is anathema.
This sets up a moment early next year in which Republicans can make demands of the president in exchange for a lift in the borrowing limit.
Obama would like Congress to pass a law that says lawmakers would no longer need to approve credit limit increases, but rather could vote to block them if they so choose – shifting the power on borrowing from the legislative branch to the executive branch.
This will, of course, not happen. But it represents the alternative vision that Obama will be offering in February when he is calling GOPers hostage takers who are forcing a government default.
Republicans say that it wouldn’t be default, but just a budget crisis. The government borrows about 40 percent of what it spends. Once the cap was reached, spending would have to go down 40 percent until a deal could be made to lift the limit again.