This is the Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. He’s 40 years old.
And he makes a whole lot of declarative statements.
Look, the debt ceiling is going to be raised. Everybody knows that. And Goolsbee is more or less correct that there’s no choice but to do that until the budget is brought into balance.
But when that happens isn’t necessarily as important as he makes out. If the government has to live within its means for a week, or a month, or three months – and federal employees have to take an occasional furlough or bypass a five-star junket to Scottsdale or Palm Beach because the Obama administration is in austerity mode (which would be a sharp departure after the president’s $1.5 million Hawaiian vacation we all paid for) – it won’t be “catastrophic.”
In fact, such temporary pain on the part of a relatively small number of people would be far less catastrophic than the policies the Obama administration is pursuing over the long haul.
But the Republican majority in the House will vote to raise the debt ceiling, eventually. The real question is how much flesh they’ll demand of Obama before they do. Ideally, forcing Obama and Harry Reid to accede to a repeal of Obamacare (which will pass overwhelmingly in the House and could get 51 votes in the Senate with Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin and a couple of the 21 other Democrats up for re-election in 2012 siding with the 60 percent of the American people who want repeal) would be the price for raising the debt ceiling. But it’s probably going to be less.
How much less is the question. On this subject the Republicans need to trade hard. Obama’s people see it coming, which is why Goolsbee is trotted out to spew nonsense to the public on Sunday talk shows.