In today's Washington Post the usually egregious Robert A. Samuelson has written a column, "Dump the debt ceiling," whose main message I agree with. It is about time the VSPs in Washington figure out that the US debt ceiling is utter nonsense, with the US the only nation ever to have such a nonsensical mechanism, even though we have had it in some form or other since 1917, only four years after we got our income tax (of course, many nations have limits on budget deficits, a very different thing). He goes over this history and repeats arguments I have made on numerous occasions in the past such as here.
So, where do I have a problem with him? Of course he went from his reasonable discussion of the silliness of the debt ceiling to talking about how we could achieve a balanced budget, something that we do not need to do. He dumps on Republicans because they are unrealistic about various plans they have put forward that the spending cuts they propose would leave anything meaningful left of the government, without admitting that this implies getting rid of such things as air traffic control and the weather service. This is also not unreasonable.
But then for going after the Dems he revives his usual VSP rant against Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, arguing that benefits for these should be cut. Otherwise we are facing 20 to 25 percent tax increases, not doable only on the rich. No discussion that lowering the rate of increase in health care costs might help out on all this.
To quote Dean Baker, who I am surprised did not comment on this, "It is Monday, and the columnists at WaPo are calling for cuts in Social Security and healthcare."