As we stare down the barrel of economic armageddon, we should keep in mind that the raising of the debt ceiling is a pretty commonplace thing. How commonplace? Well, here’s what Ronald Reagan had to say about it in 1987:
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 veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart from much of the world.
And here’s how The West Wing dealt with it in 2004:
Of course this doesn’t make the situation any less grim this time, since it seems like there are certain folks in Congress who have taken the theatrics of past debt ceiling raises as reality - it’s like that Tom Hanks TV movie Mazes & Monsters up in DC these days.
Anyway, this is a good time to remember just how great The West Wing was, and to wish it would come out on Blu-ray.
Thanks to Grey Munford for the video link.