Early 2013 could just be the next perfect storm for political catastrophe in the United States, according to Peter Orszag, the Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup, who spoke at the Bloomberg Link Sovereign Debt Conference today.
That’s when Congress will face its next test–passing crucial legislation on the Bush-era tax cuts, defence spending, and raising the debt ceiling.
“It’s going to be rare that we have that [legislative] trifecta where you can actually do anything,” Orszag said, arguing that any administration needs to control the White House, the House of Representatives, and at least 60 seats in the Senate to push its agenda through.
Should the election produce anything less than this, it could be difficult for a new or re-elected Administration to get through a partisan battle mirroring the debt ceiling debate in August.
“I think that the central political problem of the next decade is the split model” of partisan politics, he said. “I think it’s fundamentally broken and I don’t think it will work…We need to look for more automatic mechanisms so that legislative gridlock doesnt lead to these harsh moments like we saw last summer.”