Abolish the debt ceiling

End the foolishness already.

(Photo: John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Getty Images)

Does anyone think the current discussions on raising the U.S. government’s debt ceiling will result in anything other than approval? After all, it has been raised 90 times without interruption since the limit was imposed in 1917.

What’s the point of having a debt ceiling when it only gets raised? Or of exposing the world to the risk—however slight it may be—of a rejection that triggers a massive default on U.S. government bonds, followed by financial Armageddon?

Abolish the debt limit, says Derek Thomson, senior editor at the Atlantic Magazine. Spare us the farce and uncertainty. Banishment recently achieved the rarest of things—near unanimity from a group of economists. As surveyed by the University of Chicago, 37 out of 38 economists said dump it.