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Jim Baker on the Debt Limit: ‘Don't Renew the Credit Card!’

2:00 PM, May 3, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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James Baker

I just ran into former White House chief of staff/Treasury secretary/secretary of State Jim Baker at Reagan National airport. After some small talk and some sharing of our pleasure at the killing of Osama bin Laden and our admiration for all involved, from the president to the Navy SEALs, we drifted into a discussion of the debt ceiling fight. The former Treasury secretary, a pillar of the GOP and financial establishments, asked me rather forcefully to tell "my friends" on the Hill to insist on real, enforceable spending caps. I expressed a bit of surprise at his Tea Party-like militancy. Baker was unabashed: "Here's my slogan: Don't renew the credit card!" I asked whether I could quote him on that. "Damn sure."

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