Debt and the US debt ceiling: part I

May 2023

We currently find ourselves entangled in a dilemma related to the debt ceiling, which the US hit in January 2023. The debt ceiling is a controversial issue, and it has increasingly been the subject of debate and political wrangling over the past twelve years. In part this is because of the broader context of federal spending and the national debt.

In part one of this research note, we explore the debt ceiling by providing a brief explanation of the debt limit, its history, and how it is unique compared to other countries. We also discuss the present situation and the potential implications of not resolving the current impasse. In part two, we will step back and explore the broader impact of debt on the economy.