Look for all sides in the debt limit debate to begin declaring victory, and feel free to take most of those declarations with a grain of salt.
Default was never a survivable option, and even running the debate up to the last minute was shown to have economic consequences. Those were felt in many ways, from drops in the stock market to drops in consumer confidence that were having a particularly bad effect in the already troubled housing market.
The bigger question that will have to be answered when details of the agreement become known is how much of an effect this agreement will have on the economy going forward — and whether the partisan bloodletting and economic trauma were worth it.
One thing that all sides should be able to agree on is that raising the debt limit — something that had become a bipartisan ritual over nearly a half century — doesn’t solve the problem.
Finally, it seems, Washington is ready to recognize that deficits do matter — and the irony is that Republicans, who famously pretended for so long that they didn’t matter, will try to take all the credit for acknowledging that they do.
The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio (Aug. 3)