Congressional Republicans voted to increase the debt ceiling 7 times during the last Bush administration. They now refuse to raise the debt ceiling, threatening a serious financial crisis for all of us.
As I see it, the tea party wants to destroy the U.S. in order to "save" it. Refusal by the Congressional representatives of the Republican Party to lift the debt ceiling, spurred on by the tea party, violates the Constitution. Amendment XIV Section 4 states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." All of the U.S. debt is from earlier Congressional appropriations. Section 5 states "The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." The key Constitutional word is "enforce," not "nullify."