Ignore the Rhetoric: Debt Ceiling Will Be Raised Lawmakers have no choice, and they know it: David Paul Kuhn By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 12, 2011 4:11 PM CDT 20 comments Comments Rep. Paul Ryan in a file photo. He said earlier this year that lawmakers have no choice but to raise the debt ceiling. (Getty Images) (Newser) – As the deadline approaches for Congress to decide whether to raise the debt ceiling, brace yourself for fevered debates about how the very fate of the nation is at stake. David Paul Kuhn offers a spoiler alert at Real Clear Politics: "Washington politics is unusually dysfunctional even by Washington standards. But it's not suicidal. The debt ceiling will be raised." Lawmakers have no choice, he writes. If the $14.3 trillion ceiling isn't lifted, the nation will default on its debt for the first time since the Great Depression. Neither party is willing to risk being blamed for that. ("You can't not raise the debt ceiling," the GOP's Paul Ryan said in January.) So expect "verbal brinkmanship" and much huffing and puffing as the May 16 deadline nears. But that ceiling is going up "because it must."