Ever wondered how many bills the federal government pays in a month? It’s not 100, or 1,000, or 10,000, or even 200,000. It’s 80 million. Every month. And according to a new analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Aug. 2, the Treasury Department is going to have to figure out which 30 million of those bills should go unpaid.
The BPC’s analysis was led by Jay Powell, who served as undersecretary of the Treasury in George H.W. Bush’s administration. It’s not pretty. Powell and his team estimate that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, Treasury will only be able to pay 55-60% of the federal government’s bills in August.