As of press time, Congress has raised or revised the debt limit 78 times since 1960. Two-thirds of those times have been under Republican Presidents.
When we were spending less, Congress would need to give its approval every time we borrowed money. But then World War I hit, and we were borrowing more and more frequently, so Congress gave the Treasury the authority to loan up to a certain amount before requiring a new authorization. That certain amount is known as the debt ceiling. Make no mistake, the debt ceiling is a useful reminder: Borrowing trillions of dollars is serious, and America cannot keep spending like a drunk trust fund baby in a Vegas strip club. After all, this is $31.4 trillion we are talking about…and counting.