I'm not sure if this has been diaried yet, but I wanted to make sure it was, because I think Ezra Klein is exactly right, and the pro-coin arguments have gotten much press here Klein's take is that we shouldn't mint the coin, but instead, we should fight this battle out in the public arena.
His argument, in a nutshell:
The platinum coin is an attempt to delay a reckoning that we unfortunately need to have. It takes a debate that will properly focus on the GOP’s reckless threat to force the United States into default and refocuses it on a seemingly absurd power grab by the executive branch.A little more from his argument over the tangerine squiggle. . . .
Klein notes that the coin is a problematic signal in terms of our Government's commitment to fiscal responsibility:
It is the first cousin of defaulting on our debts. As with true default, it proves to the financial markets that we can no longer be trusted to manage our economic affairs predictably and rationally. It’s evidence that American politics has transitioned from dysfunctional to broken and that all manner of once-ludicrous outcomes have muscled their way into the realm of possibility.But to me, this isn't the most convincing part of his case. I'm much more convinced by his central point, that the debt-cieling fight is a manifestation of a big problem in the Republican party--and that our country (with its two-party system) can't function if one of the parties behaves recklessly. Klein writes:
That problem is not the debt ceiling, per se, though it manifests itself most dangerously through the debt ceiling. It’s a Republican Party that has grown extreme enough to persuade itself that stratagems like threatening default are reasonable. It’s that our two-party political system breaks down when one of the two parties comes unmoored.Like many here, I want to see the President fight against the blind, ugly partisanship that characterizes many Republicans in Congress. At first blush, the coin seems like an excellent way to do that, a sort of flipping off of their brinksman-partisanship . . . maybe something equal to the flipping off they are always giving us. I enjoy a good "#($&@ you!" as much as anyone.
But that's not the way to fight this battle. The way to fight this is to stand tough without gimmicks, tricks, or loopholes. The President should look the Republican Party straight in the proverbial eye and say (and he has said): "No, I'm not going to negotiate on this, and you're not going to blow up the economy, and that's the end of the discussion. You do what's right, period." This case needs to be made clearly and loudly, so the whole of the country (including Wall Street) can pressure those elements in the Republican Party not inclined to act rationally.
Any other action will make this into a kind of game, a fray which the President wants, I think, to stay above. Let this matter have full seriousness.
There are two ways to truly resolve the debt-ceiling standoff. One is that the Republican Party needs to break, proving to itself and to the country that the adults remain in charge. The other is that America is pushed into default and voters — and the world — reckon with what we’ve become, and what needs to be done about it.On this issue, the Republicans are clearly, manifestly wrong. It's as likely an issue as any for them to break on. I don't think it makes any sense for the President to do anything--issuing coins, included--which will distract Republicans or the country from that process.
Klein's article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...