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May 15, 2023·edited May 15, 2023

A fine third part to your accounting of the federal debt-ceiling confrontation of 2023. After reading the TNR piece I have three supplementary reactions to it (in a constructive sense):

1) If there is a negotiated solution, the bigger question is how many Democrats will be needed to vote for it in the House to counteract likely GOP holdouts. Just for reference, the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the House by a vote of 269–161; 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for it, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against it... but at the time, the GOP had a majority of 242 to 193, not the current 222 to 213, and there had already been a government shutdown earlier in 2011 that surely laid the groundwork for the subsequent wrangling over the even more dangerous possibility of default.

2) What is the status of the NAGE lawsuit? Time is running low and it has appeared nowhere other than the initial news reports and this detailed presentation of the complaint that is fascinating (followed by the complaint itself...):

prospect.org/economy/2023-05-12-judicia… (free registration)

s3.documentcloud.org/documents/23808242… (totally free and rather readable itself)

3) Your comparison of the US Treasury's "extraordinary measures" with those we all employ on a household scale may be accurate but dangerously close to GOP political advertising the 80's. I guess it's applicable, but it doesn't project to potential gravity of an actual default... though if I am not mistaken, US bonds have never recovered their AAA rating since 2011 and that default was averted.

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