A Summer Calm Before the Debt Ceiling Drama

Are you enjoying the “dog days” of summer?

I am, even with the smoke from Canadian wildfires clouding the sky here in the Puget Sound region.  It’s awfully nice to have some days off and enjoy the slower work pace of the late summer.

Congressional representatives are also off for August.  They likely aren’t taking it easy, but at least they are away from Washington, DC, which means the daily political news is a bit more subdued than it has been for most of the year.

But that will change on September 5th, when Congress returns from its August break.  One of the important agenda items awaiting attention is the federal debt ceiling.

Do you remember what happened when the debt ceiling had to be raised back in 2011?  If not, I will wait while you refresh your memory.

What is going to happen this time around?  Perhaps everything will drop into place smoothly, Congress will pass a new increase, and the president will sign it.  But don’t count on it.

On the right, the House Freedom Caucus is pushing for spending and borrowing cuts to be included in the new bill.

On the left, pundits are urging Democrats to extract concessions for their votes.

If you want to read just one article on the subject, take a look at this piece in Vox, which sums up the debt ceiling conundrum nicely.  Most likely, a compromise will be worked out, but be ready for some market-shaking bumps along the way.