When Debt-Ceiling Politics Was BipartisanRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: 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
- Will President Obama Award Suffragist Inez Milholland a Presidential Citizens Medal?
- US returning land to Japan on Okinawa it's controlled since World War II
- NJ college students discover their building is named after a racist and want it changed
- Sinclair Lewis Predicted Trump—And Us
- Harvesting Government History, One Web Page at a Time
- Bristol Brexit-backer Arron Banks ridiculed for arguing Roman history with Professor Mary Beard
- Niall Ferguson changes his mind about Brexit (he’s now for it)
- Princeton’s Julian Zelizer worried about the rise of anti-Semitism
- New Ken Burns' 'Vietnam War' documentary tackles divisive era
- Rightwing website is putting historians on its “Watchlist” for signs of apostasy