- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
In just a few weeks, the US may be unable to pay its bills.
As Congress clashes, some lawmakers and economists have suggested a novel way to avoid future disputes over the debt ceiling: get rid of it entirely.
Critics argue that the debt ceiling, created by Congress in 1917, has long since outlived its usefulness and has instead become a political weapon that could ultimately sink the US economy.
The drawbacks of playing politics over the debt limit are severe. In 2011, when congressional Republicans clashed with Barack Obama over the debt ceiling, they ultimately succeeded in passing the Budget Control Act. The law included government spending caps, but Congress ended up raising them to avoid painful funding cuts, leading even the architects of the legislation to deem it a failure. However, as a result of the prolonged standoff over the debt ceiling, the US experienced its first ever credit downgrade.
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