Anyone who has sat through hours of the arduous US debt ceiling deliberations would probably wonder who on Earth would ever willingly submit their country to such an experience.
Surely, even from afar the experience was painful.
Yet in the UK, the Telegraph has managed to find someone to say the unthinkable.
That man is Sajid Javid, the UK Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, who recently put forward a bill that calls for a UK debt ceiling.
I believe it is time for Britain to follow [America] – which is why I have put forward the National Debt Cap Bill, which has its second reading in January.
A debt cap, which would restrict borrowing to a given percentage of GDP, would be no guarantee against such fiscal irresponsibility – but it would make it harder for politicians to rely on their favourite ploy of “buy now, pay later”.
There are some important differences however. For one, the debt would be set at a percentage of GDP, for which Javid comes up with the figure of 40%.
Javid used to work as an international bond trader and claims his experience led him to understand the problem countries face. Unfortunately, many don’t see the Javid’s plan quite the same way. Just last month Vince Cable, business secretary in the British coalition government, criticised the very Tea Partier’s Javid praised.
The irony of the situation at the moment… is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress rather than the eurozone.
A debt ceiling in the Europe might be unusual but it wouldn’t be unprecedented, both Denmark and Poland have their own systems.
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