"Before it created the debt ceiling in 1917, Congress had to vote to approve each new government bond issue, specifying the amount to be borrowed and the terms. This is in stark contrast to today's practice, when Treasury is generally free to borrow at will until it hits the statutory borrowing limit. Congress could repeal the debt ceiling and go back to approving each new debt issue," the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.
"Now that's it become clear that this White House and all future ones can refuse to negotiate over the ceiling, forcing Congress to raise it every time, the purpose of the ceiling is lost. Republicans now hate the division and embarrassment these votes cause; and Democrats will almost always vote to raise it no matter what. So why go through the motions? Just suspend the debt ceiling permanently. The country has enough problems to handle without creating one every year," writes David Firestone in the New York Times.
"Democrats undermined their own position by talking too much about raising the debt limit—and not talking about the consequences of sending the country into default… The word 'default' didn't even show up in the debate during the first round of this fight in 2011. We shared this linguistic analysis with top Democrats and recommended a simple, but critical, change in their message: Stop talking about the 'debt limit.' Start the conversation with the word 'default,'" write Doug Hattaway and Steve Pierce in Politico.
Pakistan Court Orders Government to Produce Missing Activist
A Pakistani court ordered the government to produce Kareem Khan, an anti-drone activist who was allegedly detained on February 5 before he could testify before European parliamentarians, at a hearing on February 20 (AFP).