Meet The Press Panel Plays The "Both Sides Do It" Argument On Debt Ceiling

Truthiness has never been more evident than watching what passes for journalism on the Sunday news shows. In this debt ceiling debate--which honestly, most Americans barely understand, much less care about when their own personal circumstances are so much worse than it has been--the media is so invested in not being honest as to where the blame lies that they dredge up the false equivalency of it being intransigence on both sides that is the problem.

In a word: bullsh@#

And David Gregory and all his colleagues know it.

With a round table of Gov. John Kasich (in his 20th MTP appearance--WTF? Dear god, why?), Honeywell CEO David Cote, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk and CNBC host David Faber, David Gregory bemoans the lack of agreement between the two sides of the aisle, with everyone in agreement that defaulting on the debt ceiling would be a very bad thing for the country.

But let's be clear here: the ONLY reason that we have such sturm und drang over the debt ceiling debates is because THE REPUBLICANS WANT IT SO. They have voted (usually without incident and in the majority) to raise the debt ceiling 74 times since 1962, including 10 times in the past 10 years. Most of those ten votes have been basic, procedural votes that didn't even register a blip amongst these alleged "fiscally responsible" (never have quotes connoted so much irony) partisan hacks.

Since 1950, the federal government has taken action to increase the debt ceiling 86 times. 1 Now admittedly, some of these increases were much larger than others (and some were temporary), but that’s still 86 times Congress and the President worked together to increase the debt ceiling. Using my crude estimation of party control, the debt ceiling has been increased nearly as many times when Republicans had at least partial control over the federal government (21 times) as when Democrats were in control (25 times) (See the above table). Further, during this time period there were nearly twice as many increases under Republican presidents (57) as under Democratic Presidents (29). (Notably, the debt ceiling was increased 18 times while Ronald Reagan was president.)

Additionally, while the Republican position on the debt ceiling is clearly being driven by its Tea Party wing — many of whom were only recently elected — there are a whole lot of Republicans currently serving in Congress who only a few years ago voted to increase the federal debt limit. The difference was they had a fellow Republican in the White House.

This entire hostage situation with the full faith and credit of the country is ENTIRELY at the hands of the Republican Party. This is a vote they have made many, many times in the past. This is NOT and never has been an ideological divide.

But damnit, the media isn't going to let you blame the hostage takers for holding that gun to the country's collective heads. That would only be giving in to reality and as we well know, reality has a liberal bias.


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