When Debt-Ceiling Politics Was Bipartisantags: debt ceiling
President Barack Obama is hardly the first president forced to play debt-ceiling politics.
The debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of total debt the U.S. government can incur to pay the country’s bills. Before the 20th century, there was no ceiling on the total amount of debt. Instead, Congress set limits on the amount of debt the Treasury could borrow for discrete purposes: a war or a public-works project. Congress also set limits on the kinds of debt the Treasury could issue for any given purpose (for example, short-term borrowing versus long-term bonds).
Whenever the Treasury exceeded the statutory limit for borrowing connected to specific spending, Congress had to vote to raise the limit. As government grew and became more complicated, the bond issues multiplied, and the votes became more frequent and nettlesome. The ad-hoc approach to debt was, in many people’s eyes, becoming impractical....
comments powered by Disqus
- Stanford historian uncovers the dark roots of humanitarianism
- Historian hailed for offering a history of the culture wars
- Scholars to set the West straight about "Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad"
- Why Eugene Genovese’s 2 sentences about Vietnam went viral in 1965
- Historians named to the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences