Debt Limit Debacle's Tab: $1.3B
Treasury maneuvering cost taxpayers dearly
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2012 9:11 AM CDT
A view of the US Capitol in Washington after the House voted on a deal to raise the debt ceiling, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, after the House voted on a deal on raising the debt ceiling.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Last summer's debt ceiling showdown cost taxpayers at least $1.3 billion in increased borrowing costs, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released yesterday. Legislators' game of brinkmanship spooked investors, driving up the cost of government borrowing. It also forced the Treasury to perform some financial gymnastics, like delaying payments to retirement and benefit funds for federal workers. Figuring out how to do so generated almost 5,570 hours of work at the Bureau of Public Debt, the Washington Post explains.

The final cost is likely to be even higher, because the Treasury still has some liabilities outstanding. The GAO advises that in the future Congress get its debt ducks in a row "in a timely way." The US is nearing its debt ceiling yet again, and Republicans have indicated they may force another showdown. The current debt limit is set at $16.4 trillion; the US currently holds upward of $15.87 trillion of debt, notes Politico.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
ladyrosedeky
Jul 24, 2012 7:06 PM CDT
Needless to say it also caused our credit rating to be down graded. But the GAO isn't including all the other cost too. We will still be paying for what they weren't willing to agree to in the future which is not agreeing to cut corporate loop holes and not agreeing to increase the tax rate of capital gains on those who earn above $1 million a year (which Willard would zero out) which they wouldn't do even though Obama put Medicare and Social Security on the table. They still got up and walked away like little spoiled children throwing a major temper tantrum yelling, No, No, No. The only difference was they weren't lying on the ground kicking while they were doing it. So who really doesn't want to work out a good deal when it comes to deficit reduction and increasing revenue as the Simpson-Bowles Report claims we need to do to get our out of control spending under control and the deficit down? Obama or the Republicans?
WarmWeatherGuy
Jul 24, 2012 1:01 PM CDT
Deficit spending is what made this nation so great! Too bad it will have to end some day.
tran_tor
Jul 24, 2012 1:01 PM CDT
I assume most of you all have a credit card, and know, that one month's late fee is a trivial in comparison to adding a $1000 purchase to the card. $1.3 billion is trivial when compared to the 1.3 trillion (or whatever) annual deficit. It'd be akin to a $1 late fee when compared to that $1000 purchase... I think the argument and fight over making another $1000 purchase was worth that $1 late fee...