Biden views the debt ceiling as a staring contest with Republicans, not his duty as president

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The “high-stakes game of chicken” has become a cliche headline in a town plagued by partisan paralysis. As we approach the “x” date concerning the debt ceiling, the lazy platitude has a scheduled appearance on your notification screen. But the comparison is incomplete. A game of chicken would imply the two parties hurtling toward each other, with the full faith and credit of the United States at the center. 

The reality is that Speaker McCarthy is at the table with a plan that avoids the crash while guiding the country to a course of fiscal safety. The president, however, views this as a staring contest, wetting his eyes with every crackpot legal theory at his disposal to avoid doing his job and negotiating. 

FILE – Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., conducts a news conference in the U.S. Capitols Statuary Hall on Thursday, January 12, 2023.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

First, it’s important to note what the debt ceiling is and what it isn’t. It’s the statutory limit on the amount of debt the federal government can incur. It has been in place since 1917, and Congress has modified

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