The National Debt

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Some Republicans question just how bad it would be if the U.S. defaulted on its debt, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reportedly backed them on Sunday, saying: "I understand the doubts."

Could defaulting on the federal debt really be... no big deal?

Some Republicans argue that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't be as catastrophic as many economists fear

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is moving money around so the U.S. can meet its financial obligations, as the White House and Congress try to reach a deal on the debt ceiling.

America hits its debt ceiling: A 'crisis on the horizon'?

The U.S. has exceeded the $14.3 trillion borrowing limit imposed by Congress, and though it's taking emergency measures to pay its bills, time is running out

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
House Speaker John Boehner at a Capitol Hill press conference in February: Critics argue that Boehner's diagnosis of America's economic problems are contradicted by studies and market indicators.

Is John Boehner's economic policy 'functionally illiterate'?

Boehner delivers a much-hyped speech on the economy — and comes under fire for making some very questionable claims

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is insisting on trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for raising the federal debt limit.

John Boehner's 'bold' debt ceiling 'brinksmanship'

The House speaker insists that any deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit is contingent on finding $2 trillion in budget cuts. Is that reckless?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Soldiers stand in salute in Afghanistan: Though bin Laden's terrorist network didn't totally bankrupt the U.S., America's wars in the Middle East have cost trillions of dollars.

Did bin Laden succeed in bankrupting America?

The al Qaeda leader long boasted that his terrorist tactics would drive the U.S. to financial ruin, and arguably, it may have worked

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is one of two Republican negotiators being sent to White House deficit talks, and some commentators worry that the negotiations were effectively spoiled before they even began.

Washington's deficit negotiations: Ruined before they start?

The political press worries that Congress' failure to pick powerful, budget-focused negotiators has already spoiled its talks with the White House

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Liberal Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) suggests that cuts to Social Security are on the table in bipartisan discussions to agree on a long-term plan to shrink the deficit.

Will Democrats agree to cut Social Security?

Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat and a liberal member of the bipartisan "Gang of Six," says cuts to the popular entitlement program are on the table

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
A New York Stock Exchange trader reacts to the news that S&P cut America's credit outlook. The ratings agency cited Washington's political gridlock as one reason for the downgrade.

Can S&P scare Congress into shrinking the deficit?

The ratings agency slashes America's credit outlook, warning of major financial risks if politicians fail to reach a deal on reducing our long-term deficits

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Unlike Paul Ryan's plan, say commentators, Obama's deficit-cutting approach has been "wonk-tested."

Is Obama's deficit-cutting plan realistic?

The president outlines a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to help solve the nation's fiscal crisis. Will it work?

The National Debt : Best Column
If Obama wins re-election and Republicans keep control of at least one chamber of Congress, the Bush tax cuts might simply expire amid partisan gridlock, says David Leonhardt in The New York Times.

The best deficit fix: Do nothing

Repairing the federal budget might seem impossible, says David Leonhardt in The New York Times, but Congress can shrink the deficit dramatically without taking any action at all

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has reportedly been seeking advice from Wall Street executives over how long he can stall raising the federal debt limit without spooking the markets.

Why is John Boehner consulting Wall Street? 4 theories

The House speaker is reportedly contacting top bankers to ask how far he can push the fight over the debt ceiling without roiling the markets. What does it all mean?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Obama wants to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, and reduce health care waste, to help cut the projected deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.

Obama's deficit reduction speech: First reactions

The president announces plans to cut $4 trillion from the deficit over the next 12 years, with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. Is this winning the future?

The National Debt : Forecast
In anticipation of Obama's speech Wednesday afternoon on the federal deficit, commentators wonder whether the president will propose raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Obama's big budget speech: 6 predictions

The president's speech on shrinking the deficit is inspiring all sorts of prognostications. Will he slam Paul Ryan's plan? Promise entitlements cuts? Propose tax hikes?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
On Wednesday, President Obama is expected to unveil a deficit reduction plan that would raise revenue by hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Obama's deficit fix: Tax the rich?

The president's proposal to shrink the federal budget shortfall is expected to feature tax increases for people making more than $250,000 a year

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is one of many Republicans who says he'll need major concessions from the Left before he votes for a federal debt limit hike.

Would Republicans really vote against raising the debt ceiling?

With so much at stake, some wonder if the GOP would really risk letting the government default on its debts. Will the Democrats call their bluff?

The National Debt : Instant Guide
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says the federal debt will likely reach its $14.3 trillion ceiling within five weeks, which means the debt ceiling has to be raised, or the government could default on its debt.

Debt ceiling fight: 'The mother of all budget battles'

Get ready for the next round of political wrangling over federal spending — the "epic fight" over raising the government's $14.3 trillion debt limit

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