White House and congressional negotiators are currently in the process of striking a deficit reduction deal,
as most repugicans are refusing to raise the federal debt ceiling without deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. repugicans are essentially holding the country hostage, threatening us with default unless Democrats agree.
Yet these repugicans were not always demanding hostages in exchange for allowing the country to pay its bills. In November of 2004, Congress voted in both the House and Senate to hike the U.S. debt limit by $800 billion, which raised the total ceiling to $8.1 trillion.
A whopping 130 congressional repugicans voted to hike the debt ceiling that November. These members of
Congress did not demand draconian cuts in public investment that would’ve driven up unemployment and
threatened the economy in return.
Of course, there was one other difference between then and today.
The shrub was white.