News In Brief

Raising the debt ceiling: History repeating?

Kai Ryssdal May 16, 2011

This final note today, in which the history major in me comes out. I’m just going to let you figure it out:

Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veteran benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket. Instability would occur in financial markets, and the federal deficit would soar.

Ronald Reagan, 1987: A year in which Congress and the president agreed to raise the debt limit four times.

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