I rarely read political stuff in the media and as regulars here know, I detest both parties/ideologies in equal measure.
But Bruce Bartlett‘s columns are always good food for thought and based on facts, he cuts through the partisan rancor like few others. His latest for the Washington Post looks at five misconceptions (many of them willful) about the debt ceiling debate that have been repeated for months and months.
For example, here Bartlett shows us how no matter who is in power, the opposition always uses the debt ceiling debate as a political weapon. The saintly Barack Obama included.
2. Opposition to raising the debt limit is a partisan issue.
Republicans are doing the squawking now because there is a Democrat in the White House. But back when there was a Republican president, Democrats did the squawking. On March 16, 2006, one Democratic senator in particular denounced George W. Bush’s request to raise the debt limit. “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” the senator thundered. “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. . . . Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.”
That senator was Barack Obama, and he, along with most Democrats, voted against a higher limit that day. It passed only because almost every Republican voted for it, including many who are now among the strongest opponents of a debt-limit increase.