There are countless ways to criticize the debt ceiling -- it's a tax on the majority party; a high-stakes yes-or-yes question; a weird, mandatory hostage crisis -- but they all arrive at the same conclusion, which is that it's a really dumb idea.
The best solution would be to abolish the debt ceiling forever. The second best idea comes from Tim Geithner, who proposed a cure for this madness in his opening fiscal cliff offer. First, he said, give the president the power to raise the debt ceiling. Second, give a two-thirds majority in Congress the power to override the president's decision.
"This almost completely prevents a debt ceiling crisis ever again, while keeping the ceremonial aspect that people like," Joe Weisenthal writes. "There would still be votes, but they'll mainly serve as a way to let politicians play politics, without putting anything at risk."