MY VIEW: Judd Gregg January 2013

In an op-ed in the Hill, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is calling on Congressional Republicans not to use the debt ceiling as leverage for extracting concessions. Gregg explains that while Republicans may believe that the debt ceiling could force legislators from both parties to address our unsustainable debt problem, breaching the debt ceiling may leave retirees without Social Security payments, with much blaming by both parties and little gain.

But Gregg also says that it will be important to force both parties to the table. As we showed yesterday, there are many fiscal speed bumps on the near horizon, with the sequester an obstacle that Gregg believes can force the parties to the table.

The much better hostage is the sequester.

A battle over whether to allow the sequester to go forward is by definition a battle over restraining spending.

It is a big number, $1.2 trillion, and any agreement to abate it is almost certainly going to have to involve serious entitlement reform, which is exactly what needs to be on the table in this next round of brinkmanship over fiscal policy.

Picking the right canyon to ride into will be the test of whether those in the Republican Congress come out of this next round with what could be significant progress on controlling spending, or just another political debacle where no progress is made on getting our fiscal house in order.

Click here to read the full op-ed.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.