Washington, DC - President Obama, House Speaker Boehner, and other key negotiators, are engaged in an epic debate regarding the issue of raising our national debt limit. Of course, most people don't realize that the debt limit, or "ceiling"--the maximum amount of public debt our nation is allowed to carry--has been raised 74 times since 1962, or almost twice a year. After all, it takes lot of raising the ceiling to get to over 14 trillion dollars in debt.
Despite the frequency with which the debt ceiling has been raised, politicians always use it as an opportunity to put on a good show for the people. And this time around, the drama is particularly juicy. Some say it's because the stakes are higher, as the figures grow to incomprehensible heights, as though our leaders are playing with monopoly money instead of our real, economic lifeblood.
But the truth is, we just have a really great cast of players this time around. President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Vice President Biden, House Speaker Boehner and his legion of Tea-Party supported GOP Representatives, are taking the show to new heights--as befitting the heights of our national debt.
They are thinking outside the box.
For example, in the face of stiff GOP resistance to raising the debt ceiling without trillions of dollars in spending cuts, President Obama has come up with an innovative idea. Instead of raising the ceiling, he's proposing the construction of a second floor.
"In my re-interpretation of the 14th Amendment" The President explained, "I have determined that we could just construct another ceiling--just build another floor above the roof. Then we'll put a trap-door in the current ceiling. So we can keep the current ceiling and just move on up to the next one."
Speaker Boehner opposes such a plan. "Instead of building another level of debt on top of the current ceiling" He said, "what we need to do is dig a big hole, a basement, and lower the starting level. That way, we can continue to borrow and spend more and more, without asking our fiscally conservative representatives to vote to raise anything. We can keep digging all the way to China if we have to."
Vice President Biden, delighted to finally be getting some attention, has also been particularly creative, seeking to play the role of moderator and facilitate a compromise. "You know, in the rough neighborhood where I grew up, sometimes people didn't even have a roof over their head" He mused.
"But they got by anyhow. By being tough, savvy, like me. Maybe we need a ceiling. Maybe we don't. We can have it both ways. We can build a retractable ceiling, like the top of one of those new sports stadium domes. That way, when the deficit hawks are around, we just bring in the ceiling so they don't panic. And when we need to start another preemptive war to depose one of our former allies, we just slide the roof back, and the sky's the limit again!"
Medics had to be called to assist Presidential Candidate Ron Paul after he heard the news. He was said to be suffering from severe nausea. We met with him on the campaign trail to get his reaction, but that proved to be unnecessary. The look in his eyes said it all.