The last time the debt ceiling had to be raised, in 2011, Republicans demanded major cuts in programs for the poor as well as Medicare and Social Security. They got some concessions from the White House but didn’t get what they wanted—which led us to the fiscal cliff. So we’ve come full circle.
Believe it or not, winning the war in Iraq was never the Bush administration’s highest priority. Saving its tax cuts was more important. That was once spoken of as a moral problem. Now, it’s a practical barrier to a successful outcome.