The recurring farce of lifting the US government debt ceiling began again this week. As total debt surpasses $31.4 trillion — the current statutory limit — the Treasury is undertaking a series of bookkeeping maneuvers to disguise new borrowing and keep the government operating. At some point, these methods will be exhausted. If Congress doesn’t vote to increase the limit, new borrowing could be halted and outright debt default is possible.

The farce demands that this dire result gets headed off at the last moment, but it might be unwise to take this for granted. A system that envisages the mere possibility of a self-inflicted default proves that, when it comes to fiscal incompetence, the US Congress leaves no path unexplored. When this pantomime was last played through almost to the end, in 2011, default was indeed avoided — but financial markets were destabilized, the country’s credit rating was cut, and taxpayers faced nearly $20 billion in additional borrowing costs.

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(4) comments

Mohave Crone

Why does the Republican Party hold the Country hostage over the debt ceiling when they control the House AND a Democrat is in the White House? After Trump’s time in office we know it’s got nothing to do with fiscal responsibility ($2 trillion in tax cuts for the rich which was part of $7.8 Trillion increase in national debt over his 4 year term). This debt has already been incurred, like it or not, and to not service the debt is tantamount to default and would be catastrophic to our economy. We need to do away with the debt ceiling formality because at this point it is just a device for Republicans to terrorize the Country.

Noway Jose

How far do you want this country to go into debt. The Democrats want to spend, spend, spend.

Havasu Guy

Do us all a favor in March…

Noway Jose

[batman] You are one of the complete idiots that post the same old crap everyday. Most of your comments are not the reflections of someone who says they are educated. You and Sedona Bob must have both been hatched under the same rock. Old, senile and full of hate.

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