US Hits the Debt Ceiling: What's Next?

 Over at Ezra Klein's Washington Post blog, an explanation of what it means that today is "Debt Ceiling Day," or the day the US hits its limit on borrowing. Gridlock and stubbornness from DC republicans could mean that we default, or resort to realy unpleasant and counterproductive measures to keep ourselves from doing so. He writes:

The Treasury Department has been warning us of it for months. And we're not without options. Specifically, we have about 11 weeks of options. The first evasive maneuver, begun about 10 days ago, was for the Treasury to stop offering a certain type of debt that state and local governments use to smooth out their finances. Today, the Treasury will begin to borrow from the pension workers of federal employees. And the emergency measures only get worse and more disruptive from here.

Klein also points to an explanatory graphic at the Wall Street Journal showing the government's options.

And here's the CNN story, which also answers all your debt ceiling Qs, and adds this, about why we're stalled right now (hint: it's the GOP): 

Congress, meanwhile, is not showing any signs of budging. Many Republicans and some Democrats say they won't raise it unless Congress and President Obama agree to significant spending cuts and other ways to curb debt.

Look for a replay of the recent, wearisome budget battles which almost killed Planned Parenthood funding in the coming weeks.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at May 16, 2011, 6:18am

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