Discussion in 'Economics' started by bond_trad3r, Mar 7, 2011.
Sometime in the next few months.
What is the debt ceiling exactly? It's a cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can legally borrow. The cap applies to debt owed to the public (i.e., anyone who buys U.S. bonds) plus debt owed to federal government trust funds such as those for Social Security and Medicare.
The first limit was set in 1917 and set at $11.5 billion, according to the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget. Previously, Congress had to sign off every time the federal government issued debt.
How high is the debt limit right now? The ceiling is currently set at $14.294 trillion. As of Feb. 28, the debt subject to that limit totaled $14.142 trillion -- or $152 billion shy of the cap. But the total can fluctuate up or down daily.
How many times has the ceiling been raised? Since March 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten of those times have occurred since 2001.
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