No Budget No Pay Act 1/22/2013

Looks like the house has officially approved the debt limit increase, but instead of putting an actual number on it, they gave treasury whatever it takes to get them through May 18. By my math, that’s somewhere between $400 and $500B. However….I think it would be hilarious if treasury just issued like $6T of debt on May 17….pulling in enough cash to get Obama through his second term without needing to think about this again. There are probably some limitations to prevent that, but who knows. I suspect this is all just a slow retreat by the Republicans, who realized a bit too late that they were walking into a minefield with the debt limit and that Obama was ready to call their bluff. They are hoping that between now and May, something else will have caught the publics eye so they can surrender privately. Of course, they did get a couple headlines with their No Budget/No Pay idea, which Democrats rightly called a “gimmick” and a “joke”. But this is politics….and that’s what we vote for, so no surprises really. In the long run, nothing has changed…the US will default on both on and off balance sheet obligations at some point in the future. When it does…it’s not going to be pretty.