Platinum Coins and the Fever Swamp

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Atrios thinks we should mint a $1 trillion platinum coin:

I remain baffled by the resistance. It’s just a gimmicky — but legal — way to get around the debt ceiling nonsense. It won’t cause inflation. It doesn’t allow B. Barry Bamz to buy a trillion dollars worth of bling. And it can be undone the instant new bonds can be sold.

I remain baffled by the bafflement. No, it won’t cause inflation, it won’t allow Obama to buy anything he wants, and it can be undone as soon as new debt is authorized. So what? Like it or not, the debt ceiling is legal. Congress has the power of the purse. On the other hand, using a ridiculous loophole in a statute about commemorative and bullion coins in order to evade the debt limit isn’t legal. Seriously, folks: just forget it. I know I’ll never have to pay up on a bet over this since it will never be tested, but this would go against Obama 9-0 if it ever made it to the Supreme Court.

It’s time to get a grip and leave the fever swamp thinking to the tea party. This whole thing is embarrassing. It will never happen; it’s an exercise in executive overreach that liberals are supposedly opposed to; and it would never make it past a judge. If you really want to stop debt ceiling hostage taking in the future, the way to do it is to make Republicans pay a political price for it. That will stop them. The platinum coin is just a distraction from doing the real work of making Republicans pay for their recklessness.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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