Statement from TN AFL-CIO President Gary Moore; October 15, 2013:
NASHVILLE, TN – If you’ve lost track of time, the ongoing (and unnecessary) government shutdown is now entering its third week. To add to the problem, the United States is also dangerously close to its October 17th default date. Unsurprisingly, some Republicans continue loudly voicing their opposition to raising the debt ceiling, even if that means the richest country in the world isn’t able to pay its bills for the first time.
Let’s have a quick history lesson, or at least a look back at the last 70 years.
According to information obtained from The Guardian, Democrats have raised the debt ceiling 40 times since 1944. During that same time frame, Republicans have raised it 54 times.
That same data also points out another interesting fact. The president who’s raised the debt ceiling the most in the last 70 years happens to be a Republican himself…Ronald Reagan. Lawmakers who are currently condemning any increase in the debt ceiling are essentially going against the actions of one of the most revered members of their political party.
The consequences that could potentially come along with not raising the debt ceiling would be unprecedented. It’s even difficult to say exactly what some of those might be. After all, this would be unfamiliar territory for our current leaders.
As I’ve said before, it’s time for Republicans to stop focusing solely on their own selfish interests. These men and women were elected to represent people, just like you and me.
Not raising the debt ceiling would just be making a bad situation worse. It’s time to STOP the shutdown. It’s time for Republicans to STOP making extreme demands.
For the sake of the many employees who’ve been told to sit at home for the past several weeks, it’s time to START putting them back to work.