Despite a quickly approaching and crucial deadline to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans are holding the Democrats and the American people hostage by rejecting any plan that increases federal revenue. Despite the fact that Barack Obama has proposed previously unthinkable cuts to Social Security and Medicare spending in an effort to appease Republicans, the GOP isn’t backing down. As a result, many media outlets are focussing on the drama of the Republican gridlock, rather than on the 14 million unemployed who are in danger of losing essential benefits.

The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel joined former Newt Gingrich press secretary Tony Blankley on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday to stress just how important this budget debate really is. If we analyze the historical effects of raising taxes and cutting spending, vanden Heuvel says, we can shift the debate from one centered around Washington’s debt crisis toward one that looks at the full picture of America’s jobs crisis.

Anna Lekas Miller