Rep. Paul and Goolsbee agree: A debt ceiling deal is likely

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and the White House’s chief economic adviser agree on at least one thing: The nation’s debt ceiling will be raised.

Congressional leaders are likely to strike a deal by August that will increase the federal debt ceiling, Paul and Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said during separate appearances on two Sunday morning talk shows.

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Negotiations over a deal that would allow the federal government to keep borrowing money beyond early August probably “will come down to the wire,” but congressional leaders will “get it done,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Goolsbee expressed optimism that the debt ceiling will be increased. His prediction is based on comments from leaders in both political parties that they “don’t want to go right to the brink.”

Paul’s take on how a deal ultimately will get done was a bit different.

Those in favor of raising the amount Washington can borrow “will beat the drums of fear,” the Texan said, adding that is how most things get done in the nation’s capital.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told lawmakers last month that Washington officially hit the debt ceiling on May 16. Geithner said he has enough legal leeway to make it until Aug. 2.

At that point, however, the United States would be unable to pay its bills in full.

Those in favor of raising the borrowing limit warn of dire economic ramifications if it is not increased. Opponents, mostly Republicans, say the nation cannot afford to simply keep borrowing, and are pushing for massive spending cuts.  

The libertarian-leaning Paul, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said he would vote against any legislation to raise the nation’s borrowing allowance.