Study: Treasury would need to cut spending by 44% in case of default

The report released Tuesday concludes that Treasury would not be able to pay all its bills between Aug. 2 and “probably” not later than Aug. 9 if the debt ceiling is not increased.

“Handling all payments for important and popular programs” including entitlements and military pay will “quickly become impossible,” it says.

The day-by-day picture of default shows a 44 percent cut in federal spending. It concludes that the daily inflows of revenue and outflows of obligations are “lumpy” and that it would be difficult for Treasury to prioritize 80 million different payments. For the month of August, the deficit from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31 would be $134 billion.

“If you are going to be cutting 44 percent of the budget overnight, you are going to be cutting many popular programs, there is no way to avoid it,” Powell told reporters Tuesday.