This is Rudy Penner, not some wild eyed leftist (although as E.J. Dionne somewhat awkwardly pointed out today, left and right has been jumbled up by a new beast lately). Here's Rudy (more in the link):
"I think that the debt limit is a crock, basically. There’s a paradox
here, and that is they always say that to be effective in negotiations
you’ve got to be willing to shoot the hostages. We’ve never been willing
to do that in the 100 years that the debt limit has been in existence.
The real place
to negotiate over spending and tax matters, including entitlements, is
when you’re debating the budget resolution. That’s when we set our
targets for spending and revenues.
Having a separate debt
limit—I don’t think it has served much of a purpose. It certainly hasn’t
brought about fundamental reforms in entitlements. One of the biggest
things that happened around the debt limit was the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
[Balanced Budget Act of 1985] but that quickly became bipartisan, and
once the debate got going, you hardly heard any mention of defaulting on
So in terms of what to do, obviously my first choice is to get rid of the debt limit law altogether."