Three Dangerous Myths About the Debt Ceiling. Again.

U.S. Capitol 3 by The Q

Photo by The Q

Updated 2/11 10:45 AM

It’s debt ceiling deadline time again, Mattea Kramer wrote last week. Since then, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told Congress that the ceiling must be raised by February 27, when Treasury will exhaust its special accounting maneuvers.

Yesterday, House Republican leaders devised a plan that would raise the debt ceiling until March 2015 and also restore cost-of-living raises for military retirees that were reduced as part of December's budget deal. However, because they're not sure that plan would get needed support from House Democrats, they are now floating a "clean" debt ceiling vote.

We’re hopeful for progress because we’re against politicking that could damage our nation’s credit rating. Here’s a condensed version of Three Dangerous Debt Ceiling Myths we explored last October.

Myth #1: The Treasury Has Plenty of Money

Yes, but the Treasury owes more money than it takes in. You can advocate for less spending or more revenue in future budgets, but deciding not to pay current bills is a bad idea.

Myth #2: The U.S. Can Just Prioritize Payments

Short explanation: This is like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, and it might not even be possible.  

Myth #3: The Debt Ceiling is No Big Thing

Actually, not raising the debt ceiling is a big thing with long-term consequences like rising interest rates, a suffering stock market, and less overall economic activity (meaning fewer jobs).

For the unabridged version of these myths, see the original post from last October. And let’s hope we don’t have to trot them out again anytime soon.