How the U.S. debt ceiling works and why it matters

September 24, 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

By James Benedict and Kate Davidson, includes “Raising the debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, but it allows the Treasury to issue new debt to cover spending that Congress has already authorized, like the $900 billion pandemic relief bill signed into law by former President Trump. Once the debt ceiling is reached, new debt …”

Congress is seeking (its own) permission to borrow another trillion or two

September 24, 2021 | National Public Radio

By Ron Elving, includes “The task keeps coming back like a bad penny: Congress soon must raise the debt ceiling again. It will be almost the 100th time it has done so. After Republicans made a big issue over the debt ceiling in 2011 and 2013, roiling financial markets and nearly pushing the United States into default, the party partnered with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling — ” 

Do Americans want their schools to go back to normal?

September 24, 2021 | Forbes

By Mike McShane, includes “Seeing support for school choice policies peak in 2020 reinforces that many, many people were frustrated with how the school system responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps schools will bounce back this fall, make up for lost time, and parents and taxpayers will be happy with what they see.”

The role of government in education

September 24, 2021 | University of Texas

By Milton Friedman, from 1955, includes “… The alternative arrangements whose broad outlines are sketched in this paper distinguish sharply between the financing of education and the operation of educational institutions … they center attention on the person rather than the institution. Government, preferably local governmental units, would give each child, through his parents, …”

NY Times: Big Four lawyers take government gigs to shape favorable tax rules

September 23, 2021 |

Includes “Tax lawyers from the US accounting and consulting giants do short stints at the Treasury Department to craft favorable tax policy for their former corporate clients, then return to their firms to receive promotions and pay increases, according to a recent report from The New York Times. This ‘revolving door’ system, where professionals cycle between the private and public sector, isn’t a new one.”

Why the Pentagon can’t fully account for all its assets in Afghanistan – or anywhere else

September 23, 2021 | The Washington Post

Op-ed by William Hartung, includes “… Despite three attempts, the Department of Defense has never successfully outlined its total assets and liabilities. …  In addition to creating inefficiencies by not having a complete inventory of its resources, the Defense Department’s inability to fully account for its assets raises a legal concern:” 

Fed officials see ‘transitory’ inflation lasting quite a while

September 23, 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

By Greg Ip, includes “All year the Federal Reserve’s message on inflation has been consistent: This year’s surge is transitory, and inflation will soon return close to the central bank’s 2% target. Yet look more closely, and it is clear officials are turning less sanguine—and that explains growing eagerness to start raising interest rates. … The message from the Fed’s latest projections is that ‘transitory’ is lasting an awfully long time.”

A climate reckoning is coming for the world’s government debt

September 23, 2021 | Bloomberg

By Jill Ward, includes “For years climate scientists have warned about the ferocious wildfires and hurricanes that are now overwhelming many communities. … A growing number of investors, academics, policymakers, and regulators are questioning whether credit ratings—the ubiquitous scores that underpin much of the financial system—” 

House passes debt limit suspension, sets up standoff in Senate

September 22, 2021 | Bloomberg Tax

By Erik Wasson, includes “The Democratic-controlled House passed a bill that would suspend the U.S. debt ceiling into December 2022 and provide the government funding to operate past Sept. 30. Republicans have vowed to block it when it reaches the Senate over the debt limit provision.”

Democrats don’t have a filibuster problem. They have a Joe Manchin problem

September 22, 2021 | Reason

By Peter Suderman, includes “… If Democrats scrapped the legislative filibuster, reconciliation rules would no longer apply. They would be able to pass any legislation they wanted with a simple majority. … But as it turns out, the primary obstacle to the Democratic party's agenda this year isn't Republicans, and it isn't the filibuster."

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