As of yesterday, the federal government is officially maxed out on the great national credit card. We reached our credit limit of $14.294 trillion. Government accountants think they can keep the bills paid using accounting tricks until August 2. In the meantime, Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling. Otherwise, the government could go into default.
Usually, raising the debt ceiling was more or less automatic, like passing resolutions celebrating Flag Day, but this time fiscal conservatives in Congress are threatening to keep that from happening unless the current administration agrees to major expenditure cuts.
Should Congress up the limit? If it doesn’t, a default would surely be devastating for the economy, sending the dollar, government bonds, and foreign investment into a nosedive. Would it be worth that to make a statement about out-of-control budget deficits?