One of the great skits from the days of Monty Python's Flying Circus was the "Stake Your Claim Game Show." The first contestant on this show is introduced as claiming that he wrote the complete works of Shakespeare. By asking the contestant's age, the host is able to quickly determine that works of Shakespeare were known for several hundred years before he was born. At that point the contestant acknowledges that this is where his claim breaks down and concedes that the host is more than the match for him.
I felt sort of like this contestant when I saw that Greg Mankiw had discovered that Ron Paul's plan to destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds held by the Fed (which I endorsed) to get around the debt ceiling was "just an accounting gimmick." Clearly Mr. Mankiw is more than the match for me.
Of course it is an accounting gimmick. We have an accounting problem (the debt ceiling). It cries out for an accounting solution.
Congressional Democrats and President Obama are working together in opposition to Congressional Republicans as it usually is. The debt ceiling is a large issue currently. It needs to be elevated soon. The debt that the federal government is able to obtain before it must stop is the debt ceiling. It is very important. In August, if Congress can't reach a conclusion, the federal government may default on some loans. The nation will only survive if the debt limit is increased, President Obama believes. Democrats trust this. Republicans feel like it is absurd for the government to discourage borrowing among its residents yet allow itself to borrow just as much as it wants to. The debate is big. It never stops. Republicans will not budge until there are modifications made to the federal budget. Obama feels that the government needs huge installment loans if it is going to make it past the deadline of August. The winner could possibly be any person. More than likely, there will just be lots of compromises.