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New York Times Botches the History of Budget Conflicts and Government Shutdowns

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David Bernstein | 9.23.2021 8:01 AM

David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick write in the Times this morning:

These threats used to be much rarer. For most of the 20th century, the raising of the debt ceiling and the funding of the federal government's operations tended to be sleepy, technical subjects. Members of Congress would fight over how to spend money rather than the basic mechanics of enacting that spending. Although Gingrich failed, congressional Republicans adopted his tactics during Barack Obama's presidency and did win significant cuts to domestic programs.

The new era began in the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich, then the House speaker, tried to force Bill Clinton to cut Social Security and other programs.

The idea that shutdowns over spending began with Gingrich has become conventional wisdom, but it's wrong. As I've........

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