U.S. Debt Ceiling

by Tim on July 12, 2011

What is the debt ceiling?

If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably heard about the United State’s debt ceiling.  Put simply, the U.S. debt ceiling is the maximum borrowing power available to the government.  The current debt ceiling is $14.294 trillion, which was set by Congress in 2010.   The national debt cannot rise past this limit without Congress raising the debt ceiling.

The United States has seen 74 increases in the debt ceiling since 1962.  Ten of those have occurred since 2001.

Should they raise the debt ceiling?

Politics are a funny thing.  When a Republican president wants to increase the debt ceiling, the Democrats raise a fuss.  When a Democratic president wants to increase the debt ceiling, the Republicans cry foul and say that it shouldn’t increase.

I guess the answer to this question depends on who you ask and when you ask them.  This is why politics can be so goofy – no one seems to be able to make up their mind!  We’ll talk all day about the government needing to cut spending, but when we talk about cutting programs that directly affect us, we quiet down.


What happens if they don’t raise the debt ceiling?

The Treasury won’t have the authority to borrow any more money.  With spending out pacing revenue by 118 million dollars each month, that means the government won’t be able to borrow money to pay for their debts.

The exact repercussions of not raising the debt ceiling are really unknown.  It’s been said that not raising the debt ceiling could put pressure to increase the rate of interest being paid on the outstanding debt of the U.S., which could add up to billions of additional dollars owed each year.

Other Articles About the Debt Ceiling

If you’re interested in reading more about the debt ceiling, I’d recommend these articles:

U.S. Hits Debt Ceiling – CNN MONEY

What’s the debt ceiling and why is everyone in Washington talking about it? – Washington Post

United States Public Debt – Wikipedia

What are your thoughts about vote to increase the debt ceiling? 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ross July 21, 2011

the whole issue is really confusing to me because even though we’ve been rocketing towards the debt ceiling for a long time, no one had made any plans or efforts to cut spending to avoid hitting it. They just assumed we would raise it.
Now i cant really figure out what the truth is because each side has a completely different argument and cant even agree on the most basic of things.

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