The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 14, 2013

Boehner going in right direction

NORMAN — Having acceded once, and disastrously, to the demands of a rump group of tea-party-affiliated Republicans, House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is now actually leading the Shutdown Caucus in the right direction — albeit not very far. On Thursday, Boehner and other top House Republicans called for a temporary increase in the government’s borrowing authority, which would prevent the Treasury from running out of cash in about a week. Although President Obama didn’t embrace the offer immediately, it was one of several signs that the fiscal deadlock that has paralyzed Washington — again — may be easing.

Yet it’s hard to take much relief from the latest developments. The House Republicans’ plan wouldn’t end the partial government shutdown they instigated in a misbegotten bid to derail the 2010 healthcare law. And as part of the deal, they want to ban the Treasury Department from taking extraordinary steps to avoid default when the temporary borrowing authority expires in six weeks. Such a ban would increase the risk of Washington stiffing some creditors, beneficiaries and contractors in November.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are developing a proposal to end the government shutdown in exchange for a few less-controversial changes to the healthcare law. But like Boehner’s plan, their offer would raise the debt limit only temporarily, setting the stage for them to threaten the government’s credit again in a few weeks to force more concessions.

The GOP’s supporters say there’s nothing novel about bargaining over an increase in the debt ceiling. But this time, influential Republicans in both chambers contend there’s nothing to fear about the Treasury running short of cash; it would still have enough revenue to make its debt payments. That’s mind-bogglingly Panglossian. As numerous business leaders, economists and financiers have warned, there would be real financial consequences if Congress decided for the first time in 231 years not to pay some of the bills it had rung up. Nor is there any guarantee that the Treasury could alter its payment systems to favor some creditors over others.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014