Raising the countryís debt ceiling should be routine. Congress already has used its credit card to make the purchases. The debt ceiling must go up to pay the bill.

Thereís another reason: Clashing over the debt ceiling is costly. Consider the report last week from the Government Accountability Office that last summerís game of chicken, driven by Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans, cost the Treasury about $1.3 billion in 2011.

There was the embarrassment of the country losing its stellar credit rating. The GAO has in mind the increased borrowing expense, plus the thousands of hours for Treasury staff members scrambling to cover multiple contingencies. And yes, the office noted, the cost still is climbing.