On this episode of Now & Then, “Government Debt Roulette,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the dynamics of the current political battle over raising the debt ceiling. Then, they offer an overview of debt in American history, from Alexander Hamilton’s belief in using debt to build the country, to how President Lincoln offset Civil War debt, to the politicization of the debt ceiling by Republicans over the last 30 years. What can debt accomplish? What can debt block? And how have American views on debt and credit shifted over time?