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April 19th, 2011 2:14 pm
Quick Primer on Debt Ceiling Debate

The Washington Post has a helpful – and short – explanation of the debt ceiling debate, along with some interesting facts.  *My comments in ( )

  • Prior to 1917, Congress had to approve borrowing each time it came up (meaning that WWI combined with Progressive Era big spending made raising the debt much easier)
  • Members of Congress will most likely wait use July 8th as the drop-dead date (unfortunately, federal pensioners will see government contributions to their retirement funds halted when the U.S. passes the real deadline on May 16th)
  • The debt ceiling was less than $1 trillion in the 1980s, then $6 trillion in the 1990s; today it stands at $14.6 trillion and rising (and no, simple inflation is not the reason – it’s spending increases)
  • The budgets presented by President Barack Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan would both require a raise in the debt ceiling (Obama by $2.2 trillion; Ryan by $1.9 trillion)

Read the entire synopsis here.

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