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Lexington: Dicing with debt and the future

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The Theory of Inevitable Compromise, and why it is probably wrong

“WE HAVE a system of government in which everybody has to give a little bit.” So said Barack Obama at the start of this week. But parse that sentence. Does the president mean that America already has a system in which everybody has to give a little bit? Or does he mean only that it ought to have such a system? It is not too much to say that the country’s economic well-being hangs on the answer.

As the whole world knows, America’s government is in danger of defaulting after August 2nd unless Congress raises the federal debt ceiling so that it can keep borrowing enough to pay its bills. For a while the markets assumed that because a default would be so scary, Republicans and Democrats would have in the end to agree on the spending cuts the Republican-controlled House demanded as its price for raising the ceiling. The Theory of Inevitable Compromise was that each party would have to give a bit because voters will punish whichever proves too stubborn. But here are eight reasons to wonder whether the theory is true. ...

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作者: 未署名
发布者: yibei
 
创建时间: 2011-07-14
更新时间: 2011-07-28
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书集: The Economist: Full print edition
知识库: 英语单词