Notice the level of rhetorical intensity going up.

The United States must address its long-run fiscal challenges, but tying the goal of deficit reduction to raising the debt ceiling is “quite insane,” White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee said on Wednesday. […]

“We must address our longrun fiscal challenges,” Goolsbee said in a speech in Chicago. “But to tie this to the debt limit is in my view quite insane.” […]

“To hit the debt ceiling is like trying to lose weight by cutting off your head,” he said. “If we are within 50 feet of the debt ceiling, the market is going to light on fire.”

I realize there’s a degree of detached professionalism that White House officials are supposed to use, and vitriol from high-ranking personnel is clearly frowned upon.

But I’m glad to see rhetoric like this anyway. When Republican tactics are, in fact, “insane,” there’s no need to rush to a thesaurus to find a weaker, more-polite word. Call it what it is.

Likewise, WH Press Secretary Jay Carney talked about Republicans holding the economy “hostage” yesterday, when describing the same policy debate.

People need to appreciate the seriousness of the situation. If White House officials turning up the rhetorical heat a bit helps drive these points home, I’m all for it.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.