There’s a lot of talk lately about the debt ceiling in the United States. For those, who like me, don’t follow these issues closely, the short version is that yes, there is a limit to how much debt the United States can accumulate, and that limit is going to be reached very soon. As in August second soon. That’s just over two weeks from now. The sad part is that people probably did see this coming, but convincing the political powers that this issue is worthy of their time back then probably didn’t work.
There are a few solutions that the folks in Washington are debating, and some are more promising than others. Some of them are short-term solutions, which says, “We’ll deal with the problem later” and ignores the fact that the debt problem didn’t show up overnight. Putting off solving the problem will cause even more of a headache for the people who do eventually have to tackle it. A long-term solution (or at least not short-term) sounds great, but there’s a lot of disagreement on how to approach it. No wonder no one has gotten anywhere yet.
For those who haven’t read about the whole problem, CNN has a cheat sheet for us lazy folks. Now you have some background while you’re reading more, or if that’s all you really wanted to know, you can now pretend to know what you’re talking about when talking to economists with strong opinions.