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New Day of Reckoning

Friday July 1st, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 6:00am PDT   •  

The White House is now reporting that the debt day is approaching faster than expected. August 2nd was the cut-off date for negotiating a deal, but now Congress must agree to a deficit-reduction deal by July 22 to avoid hitting the limit. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked in opposing positions.

Included in one version is a constitutional amendment to balance the budget with hard spending caps and a two-thirds super-majority vote for any tax increases. Another option would drop the spending caps and stick to a straight majority rule for tax increases.

As the date fast approaches, government officials stand in a position to make some hard choices. As of August 3rd, the Treasury will owe $23 billion in Social Security benefits checks. Another $90 billion in government debt will be maturing August 4 and more than $30 billion in interest payments come due August 15. No wonder Timothy Geithner is positioning himself to resign. No one in politics wants to be there when the well runs dry.

(Photo from the Washington Post)

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July 2011