Gotta give them credit, they don’t waste any time “improving” things once that pesky election is over with. Seems the Federal Government is about to bump into the debt ceiling, again, so the White House is asking that it be raised, again.
The government hit the current debt ceiling of $7.384 trillion on Oct. 14, forcing Treasury to begin a series of bookkeeping maneuvers to keep financing the government’s normal operations without breaching the debt ceiling. But Treasury Secretary John Snow has warned that those special measures would last only until mid-November.
The Treasury Department’s actions have included reducing the amount of debt in government trust funds to free up room for further borrowing from the public. The nonpublic debt is then replaced in the trust funds once the debt ceiling is increased along with any lost interest payments.
Republicans have proposed that the debt ceiling be raised by $690 billion to $8.074 trillion, an amount that would get the government through next September, when the 2005 budget year ends.
The need to raise the debt ceiling reflects the record budget deficits of the past two years. The deficit for the 2004 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, was an all-time high of $413 billion, surpassing the old mark, in dollar terms, of $377 billion in 2003.
The last raise was back in February 2003 when the limit was “only” $6.4 trillion and prior to that it was June of 2002 and a limit of $5.95 trillion. Bush supposedly has a plan to cut the deficit by half by 2009, but that’s not very likely if he keeps making requests to raise the ceiling an annual event as it has been so far during his time in office. Should we place bets now on if he’ll ask to raise it again come next September?