BREAKING: There's A Hostage Situation In Congress. They've Got A Bill. And They WILL Kill It.

So there's this thing called the debt ceiling. It's a way for the government to keep running without asking permission from Congress every time it wants to spend something. Lately, it's mostly been used as a political bargaining chip. Don't like the party in power? Don't raise the debt ceiling. Congressional party leaders have a really convenient pattern of caring about the debt ceiling when their party is no longer in power. They then threaten to prevent raising the debt ceiling until they can get their way every few months. Paul Krugman has a different term for it: "hostage-taking." See if you can identify said pattern in the below chart, showing how both parties vote on the debt ceiling when their guys aren't in the White House.

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