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Debt Limit: Cut the cards

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Perhaps this has happened to you: There it is, a brand new "Whatever." It's shiny, dazzling really, and even though you cannot afford it, you decide you must buy it anyway. You slip a credit card out of your wallet, give it to the cashier and your dream is interrupted. "Sorry," the cashier says, "your card has been declined." Then the card is taken away and snipped in half. This is a jarring message about reaching one's debt limit.

The U.S. Treasury is in a similar predicament. Except when one card is declined, our banker in chief reaches into another wallet and produces yet another card. Sure, this is all paper shuffling but it's a metaphor for the sleazy way government is funded.

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