Last Friday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congress requesting an increase in the statutory debt limit. In the letter, Geithner noted:
"It is critically important that Congress act before the limit is reached so that citizens and investors here and around the world can remain confident that the United States will always meet its obligations."
The current statutory debt limit is $12.104 trillion. As it stands today, the national debt is $11.658 trillion -- providing less than $500 billion of buffer room. The Treasury Department expects federal debt to exceed the limit sometime this fall.
To help everyone understand the statutory debt limit, the drivers behind this proposed increase, and the options available to policymakers, The Concord Coalition published an "Understanding the Federal Debt Limit" issue brief. The brief sets out to make sense of these developments and encourage Congress to address the real issues at hand.
P.S. On a personal note, this is my last day with The Concord Coalition as I am leaving to go to law school. I have greatly enjoyed my tenure with the organization and look forward to joining the loyal ranks of Concord's volunteers.