Jack Lew: US About to Default on Its Debt
Treasury secretary asks Congress to extend the debt limit
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2014 4:25 PM CST
United States Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew speaks during a news conference with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the Finance Ministry in Berlin, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a message to Congress today: To wit, we need more money, and fast. Lew warned lawmakers that they'd better raise the country's borrowing limit before the current debt-limit suspension expires on Friday and reinstates a $16.7 trillion cap, the BBC reports. Lew said he can use emergency measures—accounting maneuvers, basically—if Congress won't play ball, but US finances will get tight when the feds issue annual income tax refunds. Republicans have sought spending cuts in return for a higher borrowing limit before, but seem reluctant to do so this time around. Last year's debt battle led to a government shutdown that shook financial markets and sent consumer confidence plummeting, Time reminds us.

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Showing 3 of 152 comments
allen
Feb 7, 2014 3:02 PM CST
For a start. The US should formally decline or abstain from going to WAR for the next ten to 20 years. No more Iraq or Afghanistan type wars during this period of time. Second suggestion would be to enact the Simpson-Bowles Act or a similar long term plan. Unfortunately...our politicians can't think beyond the next election AND special interest groups controls the US Congress.
SilenceDogood
Feb 7, 2014 4:12 AM CST
You people don't get it. Lew needs money to pay our debt service. We need to borrow money, to pay for money that we borrowed! This is called a Ponzi scheme or a House of Cards. In any case the conclusion will be the same and for a hint of what is to come read Aftershock.
orlandojon
Feb 4, 2014 2:45 PM CST
How many times a year do we need to hear about defaulting on our debt? The liberal solution is always the same...raise the debt ceiling and take on more debt.