"However the current debt-ceiling crisis turns out, the current economic turmoil in financial markets around the world should cause some serious thoughts about the long run, and about the whole idea of a national-debt ceiling.
Some people may have been shocked when the credit-rating firm Moody’s recently suggested that the debt-ceiling law be repealed, in order to avoid fiscal crises which can throw world financial markets into turmoil that can injure countries around the world.
Anyone who wants to show that Moody’s is wrong should be prepared to show the actual benefits of the debt ceiling, not its goals or hopes. That will not be easy, if possible at all."
In spite of the fact that Mr. sowell goes on to take some plainly partisan shots at his usual targets, such as calling the United Nations "dangerous" and ludicrously blaming the current administration for the debt without mentioning certain inconvenient facts about its predecessor, the core of his argument, that proponents of the debt ceiling should be forced to explain just what the heck it's good for, is spot on.
From its inception as a device meant to appease the isolationists seeking to hamstring President Wilson and to limit the entry of the U.S. into World War One, this parliamentary procedure was specifically intended to cause gridlock. Indeed, as Elvin Lim wrote, the ongoing drama in the beltway has exposed the debt limit as a tool which has allowed our nation to become "the only country in the world that that has the luxury of creating an economic crisis when there isn’t one."
We need to abolish it as soon as is possible. Then, we might get back to business of government.