The hue and cry about the new healthcare policies proposed by the Republican president have been making headlines this past week and this news has taken center stage without any doubt. March 16th is a crucial date for the Americans yet most of us are completely unaware of this fact. This is the date on which the Treasury Department’s ability to borrow money will come to a close, unless and until the debt ceiling is hiked. It is up to the Congress to act fast and get this done so that Treasury can continue its work unabated.
Economic crisis in the offing
The reason why so little attention is being paid to the debt ceiling is that not many know that this could usher in a period of economic crisis, if the right step is not taken in time. Only if the debt ceiling is raised can the government continue to pay its bills, which is essential if it wants to keep an economic crisis at bay.
Procrastination in pushing up the debt ceiling could also cause some serious detriment to the government credit rating and make borrowings far more expensive. The cost will ultimately be the tax payer’s burden to bear so it is very critical that Americans understand the importance of the debt ceiling and the right actions with respect to it.
What expires on March 16th?
To get into the details, it is not the debt limit that is set to expire on March 16th. The debt limit was suspended back in the 2015 budget and this period of suspension comes to a close on March 16th. At this point, the Congress has to rest the limit in such a way that is accurately represents the country’s actual debt. This would stand somewhere at the $20 trillion mark and this is what the debt limit has to be set to post- March 16th.
The big question right now is this: Will the Congress raise the debt limit or not? There seem to be contrasting views on this. Some believe that the Republicans will push for legislation to reduce the country’ deficit alongside any move to raise the debt limit but the Democrats have made it clear that they will not stand for any such tie- in legislations. This stand- off could result in delays in raising the debt limit, a situation that will not do much good for the nation’s economic situation.