Beeler on magical thinking and the debt

Washington Examiner political cartoonist Nate Beeler uses the cultural event of the weekend to address a real specter in public policy — the upcoming deadline for the debt-ceiling increase.  Whether one actually does “expecto defaultum,” members of leadership in both parties have stressed the need to raise the limit; the question has been whether to start reforming government to avoid future increases as part of the package, or to kick that question to the next election.  That prompts Beeler to contrast the fictional courage shown by three plucky teens and the people they inspire with the less-than-inspirational performance thus far in the Beltway:


Actually, I think Beeler does a bit of an injustice to the GOP in his attempt to offer an even-handed criticism on the debt crisis.  The GOP spent years ducking the issue, just as Democrats did, but it took the combination of “Barry Potter” and a Congress of Slytherins to escalate spending at the rapid pace seen over the last few budget cycles.  Democrats still control the Senate, where 809 days have passed since they put a budget plan in writing and passed it.  Republicans not only passed the FY2011 budget that Democrats refused to complete, the House under their control has passed a budget plan (Paul Ryan’s) for the future while the Senate and White House muggled about.  Next week the House will pass another bill that will raise the debt ceiling enough for the next 18 months or so with commensurate cuts, which may not banish The Issue Which Must Prompt Press Conferences Every Few Days, but will at least settle the markets and avoid the apocalypse predicted by the White House.

So the GOP in this scenario might not be Hermione or Ron, but they’re at least Professor McGonagall.  Speaking of which, I saw the Harry Potter film last night.  I won’t write a formal review, mainly because reviews are more or less irrelevant at this point in the Potter series.  It was a well made film that largely stayed faithful to the book and was, as the DIL put it, a 90-minute climax for the whole series.  If you like the Potter series, you should enjoy the final installment.

Be sure to check out Nate’s blog for more of his excellent work, featured at the indispensable Examiner.