The Debt Ceiling: A Guide


In order to come to a resolution on a new debt ceiling, Congress has been working around the clock. “Around the clock” for Congress means they are just taking a shorter vacation, but still, coming to an agreement on this issue has become paramount in lawmakers’ eyes. Obama thinks that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2nd, the US will default on its financial obligations and plunge into an all new monetary crisis. Republicans disagree. The question remains: What is the debt ceiling? How high is it? Can you touch it flat-footed? Can Shaq? We have compiled a handy print-out guide to explain it for you. (You don’t have to print it out.)

What is the debt ceiling?
It’s the limit on the amount of debt America can borrow.

How much is it currently at?
$14.294 trillion.

When will we hit that mark?
We hit it last month.


What happens if they don’t agree to raise the debt ceiling?
They’ll cut spending or raise taxes. Or both.

What can I do to help?
Do you have fourteen trillion dollars?


No. Is this the first time it has ever been raised?
It has been raised 74 times since 1962.

Why are people talking about it so much?
Because the only sports on TV are tennis, baseball and women’s soccer. There’s nothing else to talk about.

What about Charlie Sheen? Is he still in the news?
Not really, that kinda fizzed out. Is there anything else about the debt ceiling you want to know?

No. Have you been watching The Voice?
I think we’re done here.

U.S. hits debt ceiling