Conn Carroll | The debt limit can save us from ourselves

After World War I, the federal government went back to paying its bills on time, and another debt limit hike was not needed until the Great Depression. President Roosevelt raised the debt limit many times to fund his New Deal and then World War II.

After the Second World War had ended, America again went back to paying its bills on time. It even paid for the Korean War with tax hikes instead of new debt.

But then came the Great Society. Democrats in Congress expanded Social Security benefits and created two brand-new programs: Medicare and Medicaid. Unlike all other government spending programs, these big three "entitlement" programs do not require annual votes or budgeting. They all grow on autopilot.

As a result, the number of debt limit votes in Congress has dramatically increased, with each becoming less popular than the last.


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