Keep hope alive: Jay Carney refuses to rule out insane trillion-dollar coin idea

Via Mediaite. In fairness, he’s almost ruling it out: The clip begins with a giggle when Chuck Todd asks him about it and then he spends three minutes insisting that there’s no alternative to raising the debt ceiling. Realistically, the White House has too much invested in their narrative that the House GOP is off-the-grid crazy for Obama to suddenly out-looney them with a ploy like this. And if they’re intent on trying a legally dubious end-around the debt ceiling, the 14th Amendment option is way more salable to the public than a trillion-dollar coin. (Although, interestingly, Carney’s been firmer about rejecting that out of hand than he is here.) But a conservative blogger can dream, can’t he?

I was thinking last night after reading Megan McArdle’s piece that, although we’re still a few days away from his second inauguration, it’s already reasonably clear what Obama’s presidential legacy will be. There may be big things still to come — a confrontation with Iran looms largest — but barring something truly momentous and unexpected happening before 2016, in 20 years’ time historians will remember The One for his total, almost cavalier refusal to deal seriously with the country’s approaching fiscal crisis. Until now, the hallmark of Democratic unseriousness was Harry Reid’s failure to pass a budget, to the point where Republicans have actually begun to consider their legal options to get him to do it. But the trillion-dollar-coin gambit would wipe that away. Obama’s announcement of it would instantly become the touchstone moment illustrating the lengths to which he was willing to go to avoid a bipartisan reckoning with entitlement spending. Rather than make a painful deal with Republicans, he actually chose to mint a coin worth a trillion dollars so that the government could continue borrowing at a rate which literally everyone agrees is unsustainable. That’d be some legacy. Not even the historians who’ll write his hagiography will be able to spin it.