Amy Davidson in The New Yorker on the platinum coin While Congressional Republicans fret about Obama's spending sinking the Titanic, Amy Davidson has been listening to economists who say that minting a trillion dollar coin might actually help avert sending the nation into default. She's not so sure Obama should go through with it yet, but she abhors the alternative: "The coin is clever and intellectually interesting. That does not make it a good idea," Davidson writes. "The debt ceiling is a bad idea without being clever at all. A saner approach might be to ask how Congress expects to pass laws that mandate spending while keeping taxes low, and still have a debt-ceiling statute that makes doing so impossible."
Edward Kleinbard in The New York Times on Obama's plan B for the debt ceiling The platinum coin isn't the only way for Obama to avert the debt ceiling crisis without involving Congress, argues Edward Kleinbard. "He should threaten to issue scrip — 'registered warrants'—to existing claims holders (other than those who own actual government debt) in lieu of money," he writes. "The scrip would not violate the debt ceiling because it wouldn’t constitute a new borrowing of money backed by the credit of the United States. It would merely be a formal acknowledgment of a pre-existing monetary claim against the United States that the Treasury was not currently able to pay. The president could therefore establish a scrip program by executive order without piling a constitutional crisis on top of a fiscal one."