Give Republicans credit where credit is due: They certainly know how to frame a message. For decades, Republicans have repeated this refrain so often, “tax and spend Democrats,” they can pull phantom rabbits from phantom hats and make you believe all Democrats are "liberal-commie-socialist-statists." Neat trick, as you can see from this graph:
As you can see, the biggest spenders historically have been Republicans: (Reagan (188.6%), GHW Bush (55.6%), and GW Bush (89%). In contrast, Democrats turned out to be teetotalers: Carter (42.3%), Clinton (35.6%), and Obama (53.6%). In other words, all Democratic presidents spent significantly less than their Republican counterparts.
In April 1979, the first of a series of debt ceiling crisis occurred during the Carter administration. In exchange for raising the debt ceiling, congressional Republicans demanded ransom in the form of a Balanced Budget Amendment. The hostage was freed without a ransom payment, and the impasse resolved one day before deadline. Although a legal default was averted, a technical glitch resulted in three late payments of one-week duration.
These technical defaults raised concerns on Wall Street. As a result, the interest rate on national debt rose more than one half percent (60 basis points to be exact). The cost to American taxpayers: An extra $12 billion. Ahh, the hidden cost of political posturing!
In 1979, the national debt stood at $845 billion. Today, the national debt is over $16.4 trillion, or twenty times compared to 31 years ago. If history repeats itself, what would a similar interest rate hike cost today? In simple arithmetic: $240 billion!
Of course, this analysis is strictly hypothetical. Nevertheless, do you believe these consequences are unintended? Anyone care or dare to speculate?