Geithner: We should definitely just get rid of the debt ceiling

Yes, by all means — let’s just blithely remove the mechanism forcing us to have a discussion about our whopping and ever-mounting $16 trillion in national debt, because we can’t get our fiscal act together. That pesky ol’ chestnut. From the WFB:

And via HuffPo:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. “absolutely” should get rid of the debt ceiling as soon as possible.

“It would have been time a long time ago to eliminate it,” Geithner told Bloomberg TV on Friday. “The sooner the better.”

Geithner did not commit to personally doing anything to eliminate the nation’s legal limit on borrowing. When pressed on the issue, Geithner told Bloomberg TV: “This is only something only Congress can solve. Congress put it on itself.”

“Only once, last summer, did people decide to use it to threaten default on the American credit for the first time in history as a tool for political advantage,” he continued. “And that’s not a tenable strategy for the country.”

Hey, you know what else isn’t a tenable strategy for the country? Spending a trillion dollars we don’t have on a counterproductively bloated bureaucracy, every year.

I understand what Geithner is getting at, of course — the playing chicken and flirting-with-breaching the ceiling, which we’re slated to hit again this February/March, isn’t good for our financial resume. Just abolishing the debt ceiling, however, isn’t the conversation we need to be having — and it’s jaw-dropping that our credit rating is even in this kind of jeopardy. The conversation we need to be having is how to drastically reduce the amount of debt we’re annually incurring, and it’s a conversation that Democrats are persistently ignoring in favor of piddling, economy-damaging tax hikes. Yes, the debt ceiling is a self-imposed limit we can keep adjusting, but the amount of debt we can credibly hold is a limitation we absolutely cannot get around. The mind reels.