MINOT, N.D. — Another year, another holiday season marred by brinksmanship and bickering in Washington D.C. as our elected leaders struggle to do even the basics of governing.

Congress managed to raise the debt ceiling this week, a necessary evil given the deficits racked up by the pandemic era’s spend-a-palooza. This was done just in time to avoid a first-in-history default on the national debt.

It was mostly Democrats who voted to raise the debt ceiling while Republicans postured themselves as principled fiscal hawks and opposed it, though someone ought to tell the GOP that, as anyone who has managed a household budget knows, the time to be principled on financial matters is when you’re shopping and not when the credit card bill comes due.

So, congratulations to Congress, I guess, on managing to muster just enough cooperation with one another to avoid the embarrassing spectacle of the United States of America telling our creditors we can’t pay our debts.

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