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Blackmail rarely produces any good.
Never was that more apparent than last week when Congress passed and the president signed legislation pulling the United States back from the brink of defaulting on its debts.
Heretofore, the debt limit had routinely been raised in a straightforward manner, with Congress hiking the limit without other encumbering legislative attachments to frustrate the process.
That is not how it was this time, thanks to the intransigence of that large class of freshman House Republican who demanded that any hike in the debt level must be accompanied by commensurate cuts in spending.
They also insisted that no new revenues could be generated to lower the debt. They wouldn’t even sanction closing scores of notorious special interest tax loopholes.
It was their way or no way, and because no hike in the level of permissible debt could be approved without passing out of the House, these freshmen, overwhelmingly of Tea Party ilk, were able to block any attempt by Speaker John Boehner to negotiate a balanced piece of legislation.
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