Reminder: We’ll be hitting the debt ceiling before the end of 2012

posted at 5:01 pm on November 6, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The clock is ticking and the results are going to start trickling in soon, but I can’t just sit here twiddling my thumbs for another hour, so here’s a friendly last-minute reminder for you if you’re in the same boat. Regardless of whether the nation picks the incumbent or the challenger as their leader for the next four years, we still have an imminent situation to deal with — the debt limit isn’t going to just raise itself, you know. Via CNS News:

The U.S. Treasury quietly warned at the end of a statement issued last Wednesday that it expects the federal government to hit its legal debt limit before the end of this year–which means before the new Congress is seated–and that “extraordinary measures” will be needed before then to keep the government fully funded into the early part of 2013.

On Aug. 2, 2011, President Obama signed a deal he had negotiated with congressional leaders to increase the debt limit of the federal government by $2.4 trillion. But, now, after only 15 months, almost all of that additional borrowing authority has been exhausted. …

“Treasury continues to expect the debt limit to be reached near the end of 2012,” says the tenth paragraph of the “Quarterly Refunding Statement” put out by Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets Matthew Rutherford.

“However, Treasury has the authority to take certain extraordinary measures to give Congress more time to act to ensure we are able to meet the legal obligations of the United States of America,” said the statement. “We continue to expect that these extraordinary measures would provide sufficient ‘headroom’ under the debt limit to allow the government to continue to meet its obligations until early in 2013.”

In a nutshell, the Obama administration’s ferocious spending habits keep driving us up against a wall, and even if the Treasury can do some fancy financial rejiggering to keep the government legally running slightly beyond the deadline and into 2013, the lame duck Congress may still have to deal with this, not to mention the coming “fiscal cliff.” And then, of course, there’s also the possibility that the executive branch and our Congressional makeup will remain unchanged, and then we’ll be no better off than we are now anyways.

So what did America decide today, I wonder? A path to more huge deficits and debt, a lack of leadership, economic stagnation, and more silly legislative-financial dithering like this; or a well-managed path to prosperity and reduced deficits and debt? Time will tell.


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