David Malpass has an op-ed piece in the Washington Times suggesting that Republicans use the debt-limit vote to bargain for "limits on the marketable national debt relative to gross domestic product and on federal spending relative to GDP." He writes, "Republicans should embrace the debt-ceiling opportunity with gusto. This is what fiscal conservatives live for - a public fight over excessive spending leading to revolutionary legislation that Senate Democrats can't filibuster and the president will have to sign."
I don't necessarily buy the idea that federal spending should be linked to GDP. We need the same 9 Supreme Court justices at roughly the same salaries no matter what the GDP is, and many other government expenses are fixed rather than varying according to GDP. On the politics of it, though, the idea that there should be some spending reductions in exchange for any increase in the debt limit seems to make sense.