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Debt Limit Analysis

The purpose of this analysis is to shed light on the operation of the debt limit in case Congress does not raise the limit before the federal government runs short of cash and is no longer able to meet all of its obligations.

In particular, we have addressed three questions:

  1. What is the date past which the government will be unable to honor all obligations?
  2. If that date is passed without a debt limit increase, what will be the effect on federal spending?
  3. If that date is passed without a debt limit increase, what are the potential consequences in the market for Treasury securities, as well as in other markets and in the broader economy?

Please note that the analysis has been updated to reflect recent Treasury data. The daily outlook has been extended through the end of August and a new “layers of defense” slide has been added. Additional information about August securities has also been updated.

Read in your web browser below:

View BPC’s Fiscal Cliff Timeline

UPDATE: Debt Limit Analysis, November 2012

Try It Yourself

The federal government has an estimated $306.7 billion in payment obligations for August 2011 after the 2nd of the month. The U.S. will take in $172.4 billion in revenue from August 3 to 31, 2011. Check out the following tools to make the difficult choices that would prioritize programs and balance the books:


2011-06-27 00:00:00
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