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There Is Fundraising Value In The Tension Over The Debt Ceiling

Constant negotiation. Maximum value. Organized catastrophe.

5 min readOct 5, 2021


When I scan the headlines about our politics, I see lots of tension. Democrats could do this or that thing if only they had enough votes. Republicans might be able to do another terrible (or great) thing if not for the Democrats who stand in their way.

The press likes to emphasize the slim margins, slim majorities, small windows of opportunities, and how we “missed it by this much (see the space between their fingers?).

There seems to be a constant effort by both sides to maintain evenly divided legislatures around the country, particularly in Congress. Races are tight, almost by design. Every headline is there to rachet up the tension. Here’s a sample from Google News:

Almost all of this “news” is editorial about the debt ceiling. All of it is designed to maximize the tension among the people who have the least amount of power to do anything about it. There is no “there” there. Notice also, that one of those things is not like the others. Can you tell me which is the one?

If you said, “To Save The Economy Democrats Should Wipe Out The Debt Ceiling”, you’d be right. Most of the content that we call “news about the debt ceiling” doesn’t offer any practical things for us to do about it. But that Bloomberg article is the first that I’ve seen in a long time to point out the obvious. The debt ceiling was designed as a political ploy for fundraising. Well, they don’t say that, but I think that’s implied in their article.

I’m starting to notice a long and consistent pattern of Congress never really solving the problems that we send our representatives to DC to solve. They could solve the problem of the debt ceiling by abolishing it. They could actually ditch the myth of the debt, selling it, buying it, and paying interest on it. They could make explicit what has so far been unspoken: sovereign governments don’t have to sell bonds or raise taxes to pay their debts. They can just print money.