Opinion | The Great Debt Ceiling Drama’s Finale

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Senate Passes Debt Limit Bill, Staving Off a Calamitous Default” (nytimes.com, June 2):

On Thursday night, with an affirmative vote in the Senate, the great debt ceiling drama was ended. The self-induced angst ended as we hoped it would, with the debt ceiling being raised.

Both sides, President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, described the agreement as a sensible and hard-fought compromise. There are provisions that both sides of the political divide can hail as a “win.”

Whether it was actually necessary for the country to endure months of distress to achieve an accord is debatable. What is clear is that this long, divisive political squabble is now over, for now. What is also clear is that Mr. Biden’s political acumen and extensive experience in dealing with Congress got the job done.

While Donald Trump may have once written a book titled “The Art of the Deal,” Joe Biden is the one who actually knows how to get a deal over the goal line and doesn’t even feel the need to “spike the ball”!

Ken Derow
Swarthmore, Pa.

To the Editor:

Re “The House Passed the Bill. Who Won?,” by David Leonhardt (The Morning newsletter, nytimes.com, June 1):

Mr. Leonhardt doesn’t seem to appreciate the brilliant ploy that President Biden pulled off.

By insisting from the beginning that he wouldn’t negotiate, Mr. Biden made Republicans feel as if they had “won” by forcing him to negotiate. Ever heard of Br’er Rabbit tricking the fox by saying, “Don’t throw me in that briar patch,” then escaping when the fox did so?

I suspect that’s exactly what Mr. Biden had in mind. He basically “gave in” on his insistence that he wouldn’t negotiate because he knew he lost nothing by being thrown into the briar patch.

In return he went skipping away with the debt ceiling being a nonissue for two years — after the next election. And his most important projects were untouched.

Terry Shames
Marina del Rey, Calif.

To the Editor:

While it is a relief that the current default crisis has been resolved, I am concerned about the new crisis date of January 2025. If President Biden is re-elected, it is manageable. However, if the Republican candidate wins the White House, that default date will fall in the midst of the presidential transition.

Mr. Biden would be a lame duck trying to manage a contentious and dangerous situation. The incoming president would be faced with possible national default while many important positions are yet unfilled and the whole team is still trying to find the light switches.

The choice of January 2025 is either diabolical or foolhardy and dangerous.

Anne-Marie Hislop

To the Editor:

A tough few days at the sausage factory. Yes indeed, our economy as well as our values were on the balance beam at the weighing station before they could be stuffed into a sausage casing. That was ugly indeed.

Of course I’m talking about the debt ceiling performance. Any 10th grader, if given the Constitution to read, would have deduced that the clause about the federal debt not ever being questioned — meaning that all our debts will be honored — says exactly what it says. No annual vote is needed. You pass a federal budget and it will be honored, period.

How we got to this dance of having a vote to simply follow what the document already states is beyond my comprehension. On top of that to have to try to shoehorn the wishes and desires of all and sundry wing nuts inhabiting our Congress makes the process all the more idiotic.

Mike Caggiano
San Mateo, Calif.

To the Editor:

The passage of the debt limit bill demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats in Congress, working together, can pass useful legislation. Congress need not be taken hostage and paralyzed by a very small minority of radicals, either on the right or the left. There are more than enough moderate and reasonable representatives from both sides of the aisle to do the work of the people.

Furthermore, Democrats should vow to support Kevin McCarthy as speaker, which would disempower the MAGA Republican members. He is not the ideal speaker, but would be more moderate when no longer under the thumb of the extremists, and he is also likely better than his replacement if he were removed. Let’s end this rule by the small minority once and for all.

Mitchell A. Adler
Irvington, N.Y.

New Evidence in Documents Case: Trump’s Own Words

To the Editor:

Re “His Own Words Could Haunt Trump in Documents Inquiry” (news analysis, front page, June 2):

This discovery is an evidentiary gold mine. Along with the mountain of evidence already discovered by the special counsel Jack Smith, the tape in which Donald Trump reportedly acknowledged that he did not have the power to declassify a top-secret government document seals the coffin that the disgraced, twice-impeached and convicted sexual abuser has fashioned for himself.

There should now be absolutely no doubt that the Justice Department will press criminal charges against Mr. Trump for obstruction of justice, and possibly violation of the Espionage Act.

Unlike his two impeachment trials, where the “Teflon Don” slithered away from losing his job, this time he will not be able to wriggle off the hook.

I don’t know if Mr. Trump will be convicted, especially before the 2024 election, but should he, heaven forbid, regain the presidency, he would certainly try to pardon himself for any conviction he might be facing.

It is well past high time that Donald Trump be held criminally responsible for his reprehensible behavior, and that time has come at last.

Henry A. Lowenstein
Newport, R.I.

Anti-Trump Rivals, Unite!

To the Editor:

Arrogance and ego are driving people to enter the Republican primary. Common sense suggests that they are diluting Republican hopes of dumping Donald Trump. They should send David to beat Goliath.

I suggest a meeting among them to decide who David is. There are jobs in the White House for all of them if David wins.

Tom Bender
The Villages, Fla.

The Plight of Amazon’s Warehouse Workers

To the Editor:

Re “Amazon Employees Connect Over Working From Home” (Business, June 1):

You report that thousands of tech and corporate employees at Amazon walked out over the company’s return-to-office policy. As one of these workers said, “We’re here because a lot of Amazonians feel in their gut that something is not right with the company.”

How much more powerful their protests would be if they used their privilege and access to the company Rolodex to also demand better benefits and protections for warehouse workers at Amazon, not just their own interest in workplace flexibility.

As a workers’ rights lawyer, I’ve seen firsthand on my organization’s free legal help line how Amazon’s overly rigid and punitive attendance points system pressures warehouse and other hourly workers, disproportionately people of color, to show up for work sick, or to forgo caring for a seriously ill loved one, because they couldn’t afford to accrue an attendance point — and risk getting fired and losing their livelihood.

It’s powerful to see warehouse workers express solidarity with their corporate colleagues. It should go the other way, too. Amazon office workers should spend less time hand-wringing over their relative privilege, and more time getting outraged — and organized — over warehouse workers’ plight.

Dina Bakst
New York
The writer is co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization.

Source: Read Full Article