For those who aren’t aware of what “mint the coin” refers to, due to legislation about types of coins that the U.S. Treasury can mint, there is actually, as stupid as this seems, an option to mint a platinum coin with a ridiculous value that can be used to pay the national debt, instead of issuing more debt.
This bit of arcana matters because Speaker McCarthy in his desperate attempt to
stop getting punched in the nuts on national television over and over again to win the House Speaker position has promised to use the debt ceiling–the process where Congress sets a cap on the amount of debt that can be issued–as economic terrorism to force all sorts of horrible policy, including sweeping Social Security cuts. Admittedly, this is a long-standing Republican strategy*, but it’s become increasingly likely they will do this.
Even the liberal
New Republic Jon Chait thinks we need to mint the coin (boldface mine):
In the current circumstances, a successful hostage release would be all but impossible. Imagine a Republican Speaker — any Republican Speaker — figuring out a ransom that almost the entire caucus could agree on. The intraparty dynamics virtually guarantee that anything a Republican leader could agree to would immediately be seen on the far right as too little.
All is to say that even if you think Biden ought to negotiate a debt-ceiling-ransom demand, it’s now a practical impossibility. The only way to accomplish the goal is to separate it from policy altogether. The best way to do that would have been for Democrats to lift the debt ceiling when they still had control of Congress. (Their failure to do so could potentially prove to be the decisively catastrophic choice of the last four years.) The best remaining option is for the Treasury to use its Congressionally inscribed authority to mint coins in denominations it chooses[**]…
All this may sound implausible and difficult to imagine. But picture trying to sell a bipartisan negotiation to a member of Congress who thinks breaching the debt ceiling and keeping the government open are the same thing or that forest fires were caused by the Rothschilds via a secret space laser.
This is really stupid and ridiculous, but so is any Congress that contains QAnon conspiracists, outright fraudsters, and pedophile pimps. Meanwhile, Biden won with the majority of the vote. It’s time for him to exert his popular mandate and protect the full faith and credit of these United States.
*A cynic could argue there are some Democrats who are willing to use the need to compromise–that is, surrender to economic terrorists–on the debt ceiling to enforce the politics of austerity. This hypothesis has more supporting evidence than one would like.
**Chait is incorrect, in that it has to be a platinum coin. Yes, this is really stupid, but so is economic terrorism by way of the debt ceiling.