Lawrence O'Donnell: Founding Fathers Would've Understood Need to Raise Debt Ceiling

There are times when I watch MSNBC and truly can't understand how a major American television news network could possibly have assembled such a group of ignoramuses to act as commentators.

Take for example Lawrence O'Donnell who on Monday's "The Last Word" actually said, "The Founding Fathers would have understood [raising the debt ceiling] would be imperative to maintain the credit rating of the United States of America" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, HOST: I don’t know if you could, had a monitor there, you could see who actually appeared at the National Press Club today in Washington, but it is a new low. He appeared in costume as a pretend Founding Father outraged at the notion of raising the debt ceiling which of course the Founding Fathers would have understood would be imperative to maintain the credit rating of the United States of America.

Oy!

First, credit ratings agencies in America didn't appear until the early 1900s. As such, the Founding Fathers wouldn't have had a clue what a credit rating was.

Second, the concept of a debt ceiling wasn't introduced until 1917 when Congress passed the Second Liberty Bond Act. This came somewhat coincident to the creation of our nation's first Treasury paper to fund World War I.

Makes you wonder how the Founding Fathers could have had such a definitive opinion about things that wouldn't emerge until more than a century after the Constitution was ratified.

Sadly, this is the kind of history regularly taught on MSNBC. And Paul Krugman wonders why voters are so ill-informed.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.