Why I'm not getting too excited about debt limit talks 

Each day, we're treated to a flurry of blaring headlines about the ongoing debt ceiling talks,  with Washington journalists breathlessly reporting on the impasse using increasingly dramatic language. But just as I have trouble watching an NBA game before the late stages knowing that it won't be decided until then anyway, I can't get too worked up over any of the current debt ceiling headlines.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that Aug. 2 is the deadline to raise the debt limit, and it could theoretically be later than that. Either way, knowing what we know about Congress, there's no reason to believe that lawmakers would agree to raise it much before Aug. 2. In this case, the timing works out particularly well, because Congress is scheduled to leave for summer recess just around then.

Just as the two parties eventually agreed to avert a government shutdown, they're going to strike some deal to raise the debt limit at the last minute. Perhaps they'll end up doing some short-term extension along the way to buy themselves more time, but they will reach a deal nontheless. In the meantime, I can't get too excited over the statements of any lawmakers right now, any more than I can get excited if my team is taking a lead into the second quarter of a basketball game.

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Philip Klein

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