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What happens next?

With all the attention to the fate of John Boehner’s debt-ceiling bill — see John Hinderaker, Charles Krauthammer Jennifer Rubin, and the wall-to-wall coverage at NRO — I wonder what happens next.

No one argues that the Boehner bill can pass the Senate, where Harry Reid is playing Dingy Harry, or that a Reid/Democratic bill can pass the House. Those of us who hope for passage of the Boehner bill instead seem to seek passage to divert blame from Republicans for the failure to raise the debt ceiling by August 2.

Putting the allocation of blame to one side, the question remains. What happens next? If Boehner’s bill passes the House today, I assume it will die in the Senate. If it were to pass the Senate, Obama might have to live with it. But it won’t make it out of the Senate

I started writing the Minnesota budget battle series of posts because I thought the battle foreshadowed the debt ceiling debate. So far it has done so in ways that have surpassed my expectations, with Obama (like Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton) inducing the current stalemate by demanding tax increases as the price of a deal.

In Minnesota the stalemate led to a shutdown. Suppose they threw a shutdown and nobody noticed? That was the situation until the nonrenewal of liquor licenses threatened to turn the state dry. Miller and Coors announced that they would begin pulling some of their brands from bars and liquor store shelves because their brand licenses had expired. John declared: “Now it’s getting serious!” Governor Dayton caved in short order.

In retrospect, I have slightly greater respect for Governor Dayton than I did at the time he induced the shutdown. He is a frank advocate of higher income taxes. No one on either side of the debate could mistake the reason for the shutdown. By contrast, Obama cloaks his class warfare in euphemisms and counts on the media to cover for him.

In Minnesota, we had lived through a brief shutdown in 2005 and we knew, the Star Tribune to the contrary notwithstanding, that it would do no serious damage. The same can’t quite be said of reaching the federal debt limit on August 2, but what is the way out? Something’s gotta give, unless it doesn’t.

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