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Debt Limit Debate Round-Up

July 30, 2011 Comments off

Debt Limit Debate Round-Up

The last few weeks have been filled with debate, accusations, stalemate and false claims about the debt ceiling and how — and whether — it should be raised. As the Aug. 2 default deadline looms, here’s a look at the less-than-factual talking points we’ve addressed.

Republicans constantly repeat that President Obama is demanding a “blank check,” when in fact he’s seeking borrowing authority to pay obligations already approved by Congress — and has said he’d accept deep spending cuts to get approval of that authority. For his part, the president has said raising the debt limit has been “routine” for every president since the 1950s. True, but his request is anything but routine; it would be the largest increase in history, in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Some in the GOP have claimed that the government could continue to make interest payments on the debt and avoid default, even without borrowing any more. But to do that, the government would have to cut all non-interest spending by 34 percent next fiscal year to make ends meet. And if some programs (like Social Security or Medicare) were cut less, others would have to be cut even more deeply.

Read on to the Analysis for more on these claims and others from the debt-limit debate.


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