As of now, the US Government will reach the debt ceiling around August 2. After that, we won’t be able to pay our bills, our bond ratings will go bad, and the world will end, so they say. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are not even close to agreeing on a solution to the problem. Their disagreements only amount to a few trillion dollars. With a left-leaning President, a strongly right-leaning House, and a Democratic controlled but fairly closely divided Senate, the possibilities for gridlock and fiscal Armageddon are great. Reasoning and compromise are not likely to solve the problem, for, as one of the parties said, “It is like we are from two different planets.”
However, there is a time-honored method to resolving disputes like this, and break the gridlock.
Sometimes, after you have given peace a chance, you have to try another method that is more decisive and violent. Remember David vs. Goliath? Menelaus vs. Paris? (If Aphrodite had let Meleaus finish the job, the Trojan War would have ended much faster.) Harry Potter vs. Voldemort? Burr vs. Hamilton? Romeo vs. Tybalt? Romeo vs. Juliet? (OK, that wasn’t a case of single combat, but if they had married based on 14 year old infatuation, it would have led to combat by the time they were 35. Dying young was the best thing that happened to their marriage. But I digress.)
So anyhow, Obama and Boehner need to engage in single combat to determine who decides how to resolve the debt crisis, and the rest of the House and Senate need to accept the result.
Please note that I am NOT suggesting that anyone get killed here. That would be mean. Besides, If Obama died, we would have President Joe Biden, and Republicans would not like that. And if Boehner died, we might have Speaker of the House Michelle Bachman, and Democrats REALLY wouldn’t like that.
So Obama and Boehner need to play golf. For high stakes. 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate need to agree to the following terms:
For every hole that Obama wins, he gets a $100 billion increase in the debt ceiling. If he wins all 18 holes, he might not have to beg for a higher debt ceiling until the voters retire him and he can join the PGA senior tour. If he does less well, he has to come back for another round when he is out of money. Since he has golfed more than Tiger Woods in the last year, he should feel confident about his game.
For every hole Boehner wins, he gets $100 billion of spending cuts. Republicans get to pick the cuts, and Democrats will be sore losers if they complain that the cuts will starve the poor and place Grandma on an iceberg to die.
To spice up the action, we can have a few more rules.
If Obama wins a hole with an eagle, he gets $100 billion in additional revenues (that’s “Tax increases” in politi-speak.) If Boehner wins a hole with an eagle, he gets $100 billion in tax cuts.
If Bohner gets a hole in one, Obamacare gets de-funded and repealed.
If Obama gets a hole in one, the 22nd amendment will be repealed and he will be allowed to run for a third term.
I am not saying that this is best way to solve our government’s problems, but it will probably produce a better result than we will get by the normal political process.