Debt Ceiling
The House passed a Budget deal on October 28, 2015 that, among other things, will extends the government’s borrowing authority through mid-March 2017. In 2013, the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate negotiated with the White House on three fiscal matters with looming deadlines: raising the debt ceiling now approaching the limit $16.5T, massive federal spending cuts known as sequester and a budget resolution. On February 4th, the President signed a bill into law extending the debt limit debate until 5/18/13. This date may also get extended as far as August due to financial manipulations similar to those used in 2011. The "No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013" also mandates that pay for lawmakers be held in escrow starting April 16 until their chamber has passed a 2014 budget resolution. Congress must pass a spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year. The hoped for legislation will raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 31, 2014.

How Washington Learned to Love Debt and Deficits

6/16/19
from The Wall Street Journal,
6/14/19:

Political support for taming federal debt has melted away, and the U.S. is testing just how much it can borrow.

The theories about debt and deficits and whether they matter—once widely shared in Washington, on Wall Street and in academia—have fundamentally changed. Political support for taming deficits has melted away, with Republicans accepting bigger deficits in exchange for tax cuts and Democrats making big spending promises around 2020 election campaigns. Global demand for U.S. Treasury assets has displaced the “bond-market vigilante” mentality of the 1990s that scared Washington.

Leading scholars, in a mini-revolution hitting academia, are debating whether large federal debt and deficits might be tolerable. They aren’t a top concern for voters anymore, either.

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