Our Long Debt-Ceiling Nightmare Is Over

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US President Barack Obama emerges from the Oval Office to make a statement to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2011. The US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a disastrous debt default and cut trillions in government spending, sending the contentious bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers voted 74-26 to pass the measure -- which cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin a day earlier -- with just hours to spare before a midnight (0400 Wednesday) deadline. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama emerges from the Oval Office to make a statement to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2011. The US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a disastrous debt default and cut trillions in government spending, sending the contentious bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers voted 74-26 to pass the measure -- which cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin a day earlier -- with just hours to spare before a midnight (0400 Wednesday) deadline. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/2011 AFP

There was a time, not too long ago, when most of America didn't even know what the debt ceiling was, and didn't care. It was an innocent and carefree age that will never, ever return. But at least the months of grueling, nerve-wracking, seemingly interminable political jousting over the debt ceiling have finally come to an end. This afternoon, the Senate passed the debt-ceiling bill by an easy, bipartisan 74 to 26 vote, and President Obama will sign it into law later today.

Now we all have a few months to unwind before Thanksgiving, when a twelve-person "super-committee" composed of members of both parties and both chambers of Congress will unveil another $1.5 trillion in proposed debt-reduction measures. That, of course, won't be a picnic either. Underscoring his hope that the committee's plan will include tax revenues, Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden after the Senate vote, reiterated his familiar refrain about meaningful deficit reduction requiring "a balanced approach" that forces the wealthy to "pay their fair share." So yes, we will be arguing about taxes once again in a few months. Cherish this brief respite.

Debt ceiling bill passes Senate 74-26 [Politico]