Some conservative Republicans have urged their GOP colleagues to resist raising the ceiling -- which currently clocks in at $14.3 trillion -- under any circumstances. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is collecting signatures on her PAC's website "to force our elected officials to stop spending cold turkey," and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has advocated for a "big showdown" with Democrats by blocking the raise.
But House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan says that tactic isn't viable. "Just refusing to vote for it, I don't think that's really a strategy," he said, noting that a failure to raise the ceiling could result in the nation defaulting on its debts to investors.
"Will the debt ceiling be raised? Does it have to be raised? Yes," he said at an event sponsored by economics21 and the Manhattan Institute at the National Press Club Thursday.
I'm not a giant Paul Ryan fan (though one of my best friends interned with him and thinks he's the bee's knees), but at least he doesn't ascribe to the logic that says you should wait until flames are threatening half of downtown to discuss whether or not the cost of gassing up the fire truck is too high.
Fiscal policy is more important than fits of pique. I hope Rep. Ryan explains this to the incoming freshmen.