President Ronald Reagan wrote
Leader Howard Baker to urge raising the debt limit
An excerpt from a letter
sent by the President of the U.S. to the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate:
This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default or even the serious prospect of default by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. [...] The risks, the cost, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns. I want to thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent problem and for your assistance in passing an extension of the debt ceiling.
So which president wrote the letter? None other than Ronald Reagan, who raised the debt limit 18 times.
Now, as Greg Sargent reports, the House Progressive Caucus is circulating Reagan's letter to their Republican colleagues, reminding them that even their hero understood the the debt ceiling needs to be raised. Meanwhile, echoing the same message, the House Democratic caucus also put together this video of a weekly address from Ronald Reagan on the urgency of raising the debt limit:
As Reagan said, "Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility." He slammed the "this brinksmanship" because "it threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits," adding that it threatened to raise interest rates and explode the deficit.
What Reagan said was as true then as it is now. Amazingly, today's congressional Republicans would consider him un-American for saying so.