Mitch McConnell wants Democrats to use “budget reconciliation” in December to raise the debt ceiling. This lets McConnell and his party hang any increase around Democratic necks in the upcoming midterm elections, even though the ceiling needs to be raised to cover the tab created by the previous administration. Raising the debt ceiling has become a ritual imbued with political hypocrisy. Politicians who were only too willing to help amass trillions of dollars of red ink later grandstand and point their fingers at anyone but themselves when the debt ceiling vote rolls around. Since Ronald Reagan changed the rules of the game, one GOP president after another has done their level best to push the public debt ever higher, even as they claimed to be fiscal conservatives and clung to a belief in trickle-down economics. The record shows that the GOP has consistently outperformed Democrats when it comes to piling up red ink. Donald Trump outdid them all with his record $8 trillion in new debt in a single term in office. McConnell believes he has a strategic advantage because he knows when push comes to shove, Democrats will never allow a default that would place the U.S. into financial calamity.