The debt ceiling is a relic of a different era, but it is holding the future of the global economy hostage.
The first debt limit was established in 1917 and served as a check on government spending. Back then, Congress didn't have much say in the federal budget. Now, it does, as Congress approves most federal spending, notes Ezra Klein, who is a big proponent of getting rid of the debt ceiling. A Congressional vote not to raise the debt ceiling is just another vote to not pay the bills. It's basically like charging up your credit card and then telling MasterCard to screw off.
Responsible people don't get to do that and a lot of very smart people think Congress shouldn't get to do that either. Here they are: