Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Penny For Your Thoughts. A Dime For Your Dreams

Would a shiny plat'num quarter buy a peek at... the end of debt ceiling hostage negotiations? 

Alas, after much bemused speculation, it seems The U.S. Treasury Department will not in fact mint a high-value platinum coin to put an end to the debt ceiling bullshit Congress increasingly likes to wring their hands about. President O had left that option on the table, but now an official statement from the O Administration says it won't happen. 
"Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit," the statement reads.
But that's not entirely true! It COULD be lawful! A 1996 law permits the Treasury to mint platinum coins at whatever the hell denomination it wants to and it doesn't even have to backed up by that amount of platinum. A Montgomery Burns-esque $1 trillion coin could then be placed in the Federal Reserve, giving Treasury the power to withdraw funds based on the coin to pay bills already incurred by Congress. Therefore they wouldn't need to raise the debt ceiling to make payment on existing financial commitments. PROBLEMS SOLVED!
Sure it SOUNDS sort of ridiculous and it IS sort of ridiculous. But you know what else is even more ridiculous? CONGRESS! The House Repubs think its cool to threaten defaulting on our debt or shutting down the government as negotiation tactics. Well, you know what? It's not cool. In fact, it totally sucks and everybody's tired of it. And I think their ridiculous posturing deserves a ridiculous (legal) resolution. As my girl Buffy the Vampire Slayer would say, "As justice goes, it's not unpoetic, don't ya think?"
I'm not alone in hoping this would happen. Even Senate Dems have been urging President O to just bypass the dysfunction of Congress and take whatever absurd-sounding measures were necessary to stop the debt ceiling from being a negotiating chip. But President O seems determined to make Congress act responsibly. CAN they act responsibly? I have little hope of that. I just have to believe President O knows what he's doing. 
And so I must put my dreams for the Platinum Coin Option back into my shoebox of Yet-To-Be-Realized dreams, right next to the Broadway production of Rebecca. These things won't be happening right now, but maybe someday. Just because President O doesn't think it is possible doesn't mean his successor will feel the same. I could see President Hillz using the PCO to shut down any kind of bullshit Congress put her way. Takin' it to the Bank in 2016, Ladies and G's. 

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