The latest in debt ceiling news: Michelle Bachmann says fears of U.S. defaulting on its obligations are just hype

There are columns aplenty written today about the latest (non)developments of the debt ceiling crises, though our favorite economics column has to be the op-ed penned by Princeton University Economics professor Alan S. Blinder in the Wall Street Journal.


He writes that the fact that there were only 18,000 jobs added last month to the total U.S. payroll, and with May's employment numbers reduced down to only 25,000 jobs, "those numbers are effectively zero. Job creation has stopped for two months."


So what to do? Well, he states that of course there is nothing that lawmakers can do that can change this dismal picture overnight, but states explicitly that creating jobs costs money - so that means either more spending, or more tax cuts, but for all the deficit hawks out there, Blinder says you've got to do that to get out of this nightmare.


If Congress and the president are fixated on reducing the federal budget deficit to the exclusion of all else, we are not going to make headway. So yes, let's enact a major deficit reduction program right away, but start the cutbacks only in the future. For now, we need a jobs bill.

New York Times house conservative David Brooks - who wrote a celebrated column last week excoriating Republicans for their stance on the debt ceiling crises, is back at it again this week.

Last week Brooks accused the GOP of not acting "like a normal party," which brought him derision from his conservative colleagues, and plaudits from liberals. His column out today shares the blame three ways, amongst bankers, Democratic Keynesians and staunch Republicans - but he does take another swing at the GOP for their refusal to add in tax cuts as a way to deal with the deficit, writing:

Not many Americans have this expansive view on the power of tax policy. According to the Gallup Organization, only 20 percent of Americans believe the budget deal should consist of spending cuts only. Even among Republicans, a plurality believes there should be a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts.

Yet the G.O.P. is now oriented around this 20 percent. It is willing to alienate 80 percent of voters and commit political suicide because of its faith in the power of tax policy.

And then there are those Republicans who believe that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is essentially making things up, and the U.S. is in no danger of defaulting if the government fails to raise the debt ceiling by August 2. This led to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly getting agitated, as the cable newscaster continues to hone his centrist bona fides on the network that fairly or not, is considered to be in the bag for the Republican Party:

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