I breathed a sigh of relief Friday when The New York Times announced, “House G.O.P. Agrees to Lift Debt Limit.”
The confrontation between President Barack Obama and the Republicans over the debt ceiling was initially a nightmare. Republicans in Congress initially refused to raise the debt ceiling, which could have had serious consequences.
“The whole structure of world financial markets is built around the use of Treasury bills as the ultimate safe asset; what happens if they lose that status?” economist Paul Krugman said in The New York Times. “It would certainly be an interesting experiment, but one best carried out if you have plenty of bottled water and spare ammunition in your basement.”
One effect of our debt defaulting would be the immediate impact on students with student loans. Obama said in a news conference that the economic instability that would follow a failure to raise the debt ceiling would cause a huge spike in interest rates of student loans, leaving many students to pay the price of this standoff. So this confrontation could have had real and immediate consequences.
The Republican’s attempt to hold the economy hostage has failed; the announcement that they would back down provided a win to Obama, whose power has been cemented. He stood up the Republicans and didn’t blink. Compared to their other option, it is also a win for Republicans.
But the real winners of this decision are the American people. There’s the obvious victory of not having the probable negative economic consequences of a U.S. default. But, more so, there’s the reassurance that sometimes what’s best for the country triumphs over partisan politics.
Vashaw, a sophomore mathematics and creative writing major from Apex, is an opinion writer.