Question: What is the debt ceiling?
Answer: The debt ceiling is a statutory limit on the amount of U.S federal debt held by the public and the government’s own accounts. The debt ceiling became law with the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, which helped finance the United States’ entry into World War I.
Question: What happens if The Congress votes not to raise the debt ceiling?
On This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Jake Tapper interviews Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee about the upcoming vote on the National Debt ceiling, and wonders what will happen if the new Republican Extremists successfully keep it from being approved.
Most Dems (and some Republicans of a more moderate stripe) want to follow the status quo and continue to raise the debt ceiling as borrowing expands. The GOP want to cap the ceiling.
Of course, Washington being what it is, some GOP members wouldn’t mind voting in favor of raising the debt ceiling as long as Congress produces serious limitations on future spending. That would mean Medicare and Social Security cuts will have to be in the offing.
Yes, that’s right! They are playing their little blackmail game yet again, using Social Security and Medicare as the perineal sacrificial lambs in order to agree to raise the debt ceiling.
Now, in all honesty, I do see a need for cutting the debt but the experts all agree that doing so would be catastrophic to the American economy as well as global economies. Borrowing money to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy is not a problem for the GOP/Tea Party. However, cutting entitlement programs to our country’s most vulnerable segment, senior citizens is in my opinion heartless. There’s got to be a better way.
It’ll be interesting to see how this “game of chicken” plays out.
Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC’s The Last Word does a better job of explaining the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling than I ever could:
- Austan Goolsbee: Not Raising The Debt Ceiling Would Be “Catastrophic” And “Insanity” (mediaite.com)
- Debt ceiling: DeMint threatens to blow up government; Ryan, Graham look for hostages (dailykos.com)
- Should Congress Raise the U.S. Debt Ceiling? (usnews.com)
- Quote of the Day – Why I love Austan Goolsbee… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Refusal to up debt ceiling ‘catastrophic': Obama aide (alternet.org)
- Early fireworks in the new Congress, Part Two (powerlineblog.com)
- Will tea party forgive debt vote? (politico.com)
- Manipulated Monday – New Year Starts with a Bang (philstockworld.com)