Deja Broke: Presenting The Treasury's Options To Continue Pretending The US Is Solvent

Tyler Durden's picture

The debt limit was formally reached last week, and we expect the Treasury's ability to borrow to be exhausted by around March 1 (if not before) and while CDS are not flashing red, USA is at near 3-month wides. Like the previous debt limit debate in the summer of 2011, the debate seems likely to be messy, with resolution right around the deadline. That said, like the last debate we would expect the Treasury to prioritize payments if necessary, and Goldman does not believe holders of Treasury securities are at risk of missing interest or principal payments. The debt limit is only one of three upcoming fiscal issues, albeit the most important one. Congress also must address the spending cuts under sequestration, scheduled to take place March 1, and the expiration of temporary spending authority on March 27. While these are technically separate issues, it seems likely that they will be combined, perhaps into one package. This remains a 'very' recurring issue, given our government's spending habits and insistence on its solvency, as we laid out almost two years ago in great detail.


Via Goldman Sachs: Q&A On The Debt Limit (Alec Phillips)

Q: What is the debt limit?

A: It is a legal limit on Treasury's borrowing imposed by Congress. Under the constitution, Congress, not the Treasury, has authority to borrow. Congress delegates this authority to the Treasury. Instead of approving each single debt issuance (as was done many years ago) it imposes an overall limit on debt that may be issued, leaving the Treasury to work out the details. The limit is currently $16.394 trillion.

Q: What is covered under the debt limit?

A: Marketable and nonmarketable debt held by the public, the Fed, and in government accounts. Debt held by the public ($11.6 trillion) consists of marketable securities held by domestic and foreign investors ($9.9 trillion) and marketable securities held by the Federal Reserve ($1.7 trillion). Intragovernmental debt ($4.9 trillion) consists almost entirely of nonmarketable debt held by government trust funds. Most of these trust funds finance specific programs, like Social Security.

Q: When will it be reached?

A: The formal limit has already been reached but the Treasury probably has enough headroom to last until March 1. The Treasury reached the statutory limit on debt on December 31. Since then, public debt outstanding has been held at $25mn under the limit. Even though the Treasury has reached the limit, it can continue to borrow through use of "extraordinary measures."

The Treasury has instructed Congress that it expects to have about $200 billion in "extraordinary measures" at its disposal, which will allow it to continue to borrow under the debt limit. January tends to be a low-deficit month and will probably produce a monthly deficit of $20bn to $30bn. February is a heavy deficit month, and in the last three years has produced a deficit of $220bn to $230bn. This year's February deficit is likely to be smaller than those years, as is the fiscal year deficit as a whole, but it still looks likely to be at least $200bn.

On December 28, the last business day before the debt limit was reached, the Treasury's cash balance stood at $59bn. Along with the "extraordinary measures," this should allow the Treasury to continue to pay its obligations without an increase in the debt limit until at least sometime in the second half of February, even if the budget deficit is at the high end of the range of the last few years. If the deficit over the next two months is slightly lower than the last few years, as we expect, the Treasury seems likely to get to March 1 before it exhausts its funds. Likewise, if the Treasury is able to increase the amount of headroom created by its "extraordinary measures" beyond the $200bn it has estimated, it might also extend the date it would exhaust its borrowing capacity.

Q: What are the "extraordinary measures" the Treasury can use to extend the deadline for raising the debt limit?

A: The primary strategies involve disinvesting government trust funds of Treasury securities. These have been ahead of several previous debt limit increases and have come to be known as "extraordinary measures." There are three primary strategies the Treasury can use to create additional headroom to borrow under the limit:

  • Partial disinvestment of the federal employee defined benefit pension fund (creating $33bn to $93bn in headroom). The Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) receives contributions for current employees of $2bn per month and pays out $6bn per month to former employees. Once the debt limit has been reached, the Treasury may redeem securities equal to expected payments and may suspend new investments. The amount of the redemptions depends on the Treasury's declaration of a "debt issuance suspension period" (DISP). For each month it is expected to last, the Treasury can redeem one month's expected payments. In prior debt limit impasses, DISPs have been declared to last as short as two months to as long as 12 months, creating headroom of between $12bn and $72bn, along with a few billion more from non-investment of new inflows. A similar provision related to postal retirement creates $17bn more in flexibility. The upshot is a minimum of about $33bn in headroom and an upper bound of $93bn (in the case of a 12-month DISP), though the law is vague so it is at least possible that an even longer DISP could be declared if necessary.
  • Disinvesting the "G Fund" ($156bn in headroom). The "Thrift Savings Plan" is a defined contribution system for federal employees, which provides several investment options including the G Fund that invests only in government securities. Federal employees and retirees currently have $156bn invested in the G Fund, and the Treasury can temporarily replace some or all of those Treasuries that count toward the debt limit with an IOU that does not.
  • Disinvesting the Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund ($23bn in headroom). This fund can be used by the Treasury in a number of ways, with little oversight by Congress. The $23bn portion of the fund invested in dollars is in non-marketable Treasuries, which could be disinvested immediately if necessary.

Q: What happens if Congress does not raise the limit by the deadline?

A: The Treasury would need to immediately reduce outlays to equal income. Without an increase in the limit, the Treasury would not have cash on hand to pay obligations as they come due. Over the next three months, the Treasury is likely to spend roughly 40% more than it takes in, and without a debt limit hike it would need to immediately eliminate this deficit. While the Treasury would probably be able to prioritize spending, it isn't clear what the priorities are, and regardless of which priorities were chosen, the overall reduction in federal spending could result in a sharp downturn in near-term economic activity if it persisted for more than a very short period.

Ahead of the 1985 debt limit increase, the General Accounting Office (GAO, now known as the Government Accountability Office) advised the Senate Finance Committee that the Treasury had the authority to choose the order in which to pay obligations. Whether this opinion still holds today in light of legislation enacted since then is unclear. Prioritization did occur previously, following expiration of a temporary increase in the debt limit on July 1, 1957. As the federal government began to run a budget deficit, the Treasury was forced to delay payments to federal contractors in order to avoid breaching the limit (see for example Treasury Sec. Douglas Dillon's account of the events in "Key Areas in Current Economic Policy", Federal Reserve Bank of New York Monthly Review, June 1963). More recently, as the debt limit approached in early 1996, the Treasury indicated that failure to raise the debt limit would result in failure to make Social Security payments, though Congress provided relief before any delay occurred (see "Debt Ceiling: Analysis of Actions Taken During the 1995-1996 Crisis," GAO, 1996.)

Q: What about Treasury-related payments?

A: A failure to pay interest or principal is unlikely, as it was in the last debt limit debate. The Treasury has around $35bn in semi-annual coupon interest to pay on February 15. There is a good chance that the Treasury's "extraordinary measures" will last longer than this. However, smaller payments of around $6bn and $1bn are scheduled on February 28 and March 15, around the time the Treasury will exhaust its borrowing ability. If Congress has not increased the debt limit by that point, the Treasury seems likely to prioritize spending to make sure these payments are made or to extend its "extraordinary measures" so that it can borrow the amounts to make the payments. The Treasury's ability to roll over existing debt is even less likely to be affected, since replacing maturing debt with new issues should not add to stock of Treasury securities outstanding. Nevertheless, significant volatility could occur around Treasury auctions should Congress fail to raise the debt limit in a timely manner.

Q: If other non-interest payments are missed, would that constitute a default?

A: Not from the rating agency perspective. While some of the public commentary has referred to a failure to make scheduled payments on other obligations as a "technical default," the rating agencies are not required to respond in any particular way to a failure to make other payments. Ratings assigned by the three major rating agencies relate to the government as an issuer of securities and the payment of interest and principal on those securities. That said, a failure to make a scheduled payment could still be seen as a sign of increased risk, so it could still have ratings implications. For example, Fitch Ratings has said it might downgrade the US rating by one notch if the debt limit is not raised in a timely manner; it seems likely that an inability to make scheduled payments would trigger the type of downgrade Fitch has described.

Q: How long might the debt limit increase last?

A: It could last as long as two years or as short as a few months. President Obama has made clear he does not want to return to periodic debates on the debt limit and he is likely to push for at least a two-year extension, which would probably require an increase of around $2 trillion. House Speaker Boehner insists that any debt limit increase should be matched with spending cuts of an equal amount (when measured over ten years). If lawmakers were able to agree on a "grand bargain" involving significant entitlement cuts as well as new revenues, this could allow for enough budgetary savings (if not spending cuts) to allow a debt limit increase lasting two years or so.

However, another increase in tax revenue beyond the one enacted last week seems off the table for now, and there is little left to cut from the "discretionary" segment of the budget that was already cut significantly in 2011. The only major area of the budget left to cut is "mandatory" spending--mainly entitlement programs--but neither party has proposed more than several hundred billion dollars in specific, politically achievable cuts in this area.

If Congress can't agree on cuts to match a substantial increase in the debt limit, lawmakers have a few other options. Congressional Republicans could shift their goal to enacting a few key changes to entitlement programs, rather than hitting a particular dollar target. To make a smaller budget deal look larger, lawmakers might also consider a cap on overseas war spending, which could produce several hundred billion dollars in savings compared with official projections, even though most realistic budget projections (including our own) already assume this spending will decline. Either strategy could allow the debt limit to be increased by at least $1 trillion, good for about a year.

If neither of those strategies work out, the fallback plan would simply be a smaller increase in the debt limit. While larger increases in the debt limit that last 1-2 years have become the norm over the last decade, this was not always the case. In prior periods it was not uncommon to see increases that lasted only a few months, or in some cases just a few days. So while we assume that Congress will enact a longer-lasting increase in the debt limit this year, it would not be unheard of for one or more short-term extensions to come before the longer-lasting increase.

Q: How does the debt limit relate to other upcoming fiscal debates?

A: The debt limit is the most important of three separate fiscal issues Congress must address in Q1. Beyond the debt limit, congressional leaders and the President must work out two other issues: further delay in spending cuts under "sequestration" and an extension of government spending authority. While these are separate issues, it is clearly possible that all three could be wrapped up into one agreement.

Spending cuts under sequestration are scheduled to take effect from March 1, 2013. Those cuts had been scheduled to take effect January 1, but were delayed two months as part of the fiscal compromise reached last week. In the upcoming debate lawmakers will aim to delay those cuts once again, offsetting the increased spending that would result with savings (spread over ten years) from other areas of the budget.

A month later, on March 27, the temporary extension of spending authority (known as a "continuing resolution") that Congress enacted last year expires. Congress is likely to extend spending authority to September 30, the end of the current fiscal year, but lawmakers must first agree on a spending level. If no agreement is reached by March 27, all non-essential government operations funded by congressional appropriations would cease. However, while this sounds severe, it is far less of a risk to the economy or the market than a failure to raise the debt limit, since the lapse would be temporary and the payments that would cease are clearly categorized, would have no effect on Treasury financing nor on most payments to individuals, and are of a smaller overall size.

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tooriskytoinvest's picture

Jim Sinclair & Peter Schiff & Michael Pento & Bill Gross: The Dollar Is The King Of Depreciation. QE Is Going To Infinity…AND BEYOND!! Fed Gold Certificate Claims On Fort Knox Bullion Holdings Which May Not Actually Exist!!


chubbar's picture

Does anyone know if Congress sneaked through an extension of the Feds Charter that expired the end of Dec 2012?

Here's a good primer on why we are in the wars we are fighting and where this is ultimately heading (Spoiler alert: Petrodollar and war). Regardless of the spoiler, its is a well done and short video (13mins). Please pass it along and give it the widest dissemination!


thecoloredsky's picture

I believe there is no 100 year charter. See:

"Upon the filing of the organization certificate with the Comptroller of the Currency a Federal reserve bank shall become a body corporate and as such, and in the name designated in such organization certificate, shall have power—

First. To adopt and use a corporate seal.

Second. To have succession after February 25, 1927, until dissolved by Act of Congress or until forfeiture of franchise for violation of law. " I don't see anything in there with 2013. They are here forever until they aren't.
AnAnonymous's picture

'American' nations being insolvent is irrelevant.

Solvency in a world put on the path of depletion of resources is nothing advantageous.

It only means you've got some left in to be consumed by 'americans'

The future is drawn: there will people who inherited from people who consumed it all and there will be the others.

Dr. Engali's picture

Isn't there a cat you need to be skinning somewhere?

Inthemix96's picture

His best friends mothers cousins aunt is busy putting anti-suicide netting around the Foxconn building so he can enlighten us every day after he has done his his 26 hour shift making shit that will break in 6 months for us fuckers to buy just after to keep him in work for $1.25 a day.

Hope that cleared that up like, no wonder he hates "Americanizsmsns".

AnAnonymous's picture

One thing was cleared up a long time ago

'Americans' love their fantasy.

Without fantasy to prop up them through life, they would not make up.

Keep up the fantasy tales, it is part of the 'american' nature, which commands any action in 'americans'

Inthemix96's picture

Very nice AmAmnomynous.

But seeing as you replied to an Englishman, who is in Englishland, let me give you some of the Queens finest response.

Go and take your iliterate typing, dog frying, curb shiting, communist wearing, pollution building, and down right unfriendly and uncouth behavioured head for a shit.

And leave the people of Tibet alone you little tinker of small proportions, before we come over and teach you dwarf yellow buggers a lesson you deserve.

Now take my word China man.  You have been warned.                    :-)

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Inthemix96 said:

Go and take your iliterate typing, dog frying, curb shiting, communist wearing, pollution building, and down right unfriendly and uncouth behavioured head for a shit.

Well done, sir. A smashing response to the hateful little blighter with the unwiped bum.

Inthemix96's picture

Well thank you kindly my friend.

One day these curb shitters will learn the uncouthness of shiting outside of ones house, I believe it is our right, indeed duty to remind these backward, third world, 26 hour a day Foxconns to adhere to our far higher standards of participation of dialect.

Bottoms up chum.....                       ;-)

Liquid Courage's picture

@ Inthemix96 ...

Thought that looked like a Bearskin you're wearing ;-)


BTW, I just heard yesterday that there's a new series of Yes, Prime Minister (with a new cast, of course) starting in a week or so. Love that show ... have all the DVDs. Not sure when it'll be on this side of the pond, but I can't wait.

akak's picture

One thing was blobbed-up a long time ago

Evil Chinese citizenism trolls love their fantasy.

Without fantasy to prop up them through life, they would not blob up.  Hypocritizenistic offuscation would be beyond their reach without their anti-'american' bigoted and hate-filled fantasies to float their crap-covered boat.

Keep up the fantasy tales, it is part of your bigoted and hypocritizenism nature, which commands any action with which you disagree as being conducted by strawmen 'americans' --- whatever the fuck that means in your autistic, hate-filled, perfectly evil sick and twisted little mind.

pods's picture

He's pissed that his ruxury boat wouldn't froat when they raunched it.


trav777's picture

you may as well use 'qwerakfjds' instead of 'american' because you just made the word mean wtfever you wanted to

AnAnonymous's picture

Remember the time when US Americans used to represent themselves through animals in cartoons?
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck etc...

Tells about 'americans' in general.

Chump's picture

Hell yeah.  Muthafuckin' Donald Duck.  NO ONE tells him to wear pants.  NO ONE.  Just like me on the weekend.  Damn straight!

Liquid Courage's picture

But when he gets out of the bath, he wraps a towel round himself. Go figure.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

Remember the time when US Americans used to represent themselves through animals in cartoons?
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck etc...

Chinese citizenism non sequiturd.

US Americans now represent AnAnonymous in cartoons as Mr. Hankey.,_the_Christmas_Poo

akak's picture

Remember the time when rapacious, blobbing-up Chinese citizenism citizens used to try to boost their flagging virility and miniature pee-pees through consumptionalizing rare and endangered animal parts?

Tiger penis, bear gall bladders, 'dragon bones', etc...

(Oh wait, that time is still today.)

Tells about short-sighted, materialistic Chinese citizenism citizens in general.

forwardho's picture

Aint you a purdy little ray of sunshine today!

akak's picture

Roadside-crapping Chinese shitizens being incontinent is irrelevant.

Flush toiletry in a Chinese shitizen world is nothing advantageous.

It only means you've got some (few) unshat-upon roadsides left to be contaminated by Chinese shitizens.

The future is drawn: there will "half people, half things" who inherited from sheeple who consumed the wokked dogs and then shat them out on the Chinese roadsdes, and will be the others who used flush toilets instead.

Alas, alas, 1.3 billion alas, eternal Chinese shitizen insanitation nature will prevail. 

Just have to bear with it.

buzzsaw99's picture

If I ran the treasury CONgreff would be the first to not get paid.

Darth Mul's picture

Not sure why folks aren't more supportive of a fiat coin, actually produced by the government  {the fed ain't the government, right?} to be handed over to the private federal reserve as 'legal tender' which would immediately extinguish the equivalent amount of fed-fiat dollars.


What's the Fed hold in US treasuries at this point, a few trillion?  More?


For fuck's sake, fellas, is there not a certain subtle beauty to the idea of the Congress or Treasury extinguishing that debt outstanding with its own fiat?


I understand lots of people find this silly, I did too.  But in reading about this, I think it makes some sense.  It's a kind of end-run around the federal reserve's power.  It printed money and took in exchange an IOU for future tax revenue....  that's a jack from all of your paychecks.....


handing over the fiat coin, as I see it, because it's "legal tender" - basically extinguishes the futures taxes on income we'd need to hand over to the fed... 'deinflationary' in a sense.


While silly, it's sillier to let the Fed be the only fiat creation game in town, while we all have to labor 1/3 of the year to hand over our earnings to a group of magicians who did nothing.


While not perfect - it may be a 'crack' in the wall of fed power.



Obama is a narcissist. He is backed by wealthy Chicago gangsters with a healthy penchant for world domination.  If they can be used as lever against the Fed's power....


Divide and conquer, I say.

Thisson's picture

It's called inflation, you retard.  Whether the treasury issues the fiat or the fed, it creates inflation, which is a regressive tax.  So no, it's not a good idea - it's a fucking stupid idea.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I agree that the coin devalues the dollar, but there is no wealth extraction value for the banksters with the coin.  We all kind of take the ass fucking equally, but at least the banksters are also getting fucked.  

Tall Tom's picture

You are mistaken. It allows the continuation of the Ponzi Scheme.

Freddie's picture

Mint The Obama coin! Mint The Coin!  USSSA! USSA!

Save Amerika - Mint The Trillion Dollar Platinum Obama Coin!  

hooligan2009's picture

similarly, the Fed could extinguish the 1.6 trillion of treasruies out of its 2. trillion in SOMA holdings and wipe 10% of the total debt.

you have roger altmann in todays FT claiming that the actual government debt to GDP excludes non-marketable securities and is only 70% so everything is fine really, so it's all Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn anyway

strayaway's picture

Absolutamento! But why just have Congressional magic coins or the Fed? We can have both. That way, Congress (think Pelosi, Reid, Boehner) and the Fed could both be issuing money when needed without conflicts. We would never run out of money again! Wheee..Keynesianism forever. Better do it before she has her baby.

forwardho's picture

. The Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) receives contributions for current employees of $2bn per month and pays out $6bn per month to former employees. 

Houston... We have a Problem.

This is happening at every level of our entitilements.


Bluntly Put's picture

Maybe I'm an idiot, but to me the dollar is either backed by the ability of government to collect taxes (force and coersion) and the economy's performance to provide the tax base or it is backed by the legal system legitimizing the FRB credit/currency creation scheme (as money and credit are fungible in our economy).

If the dollar is backed by our legal tender laws and other budgetary measures taken by congress to define its scarcity, then the above discourse on this cluster fox trot in Congress demonstrates very little "value" to the dollar. The dollar must be backed by its demand overseas as the reserve currency, meaning all this insanity in Congress has nothing to do with what underpins the dollar and our economy.

I need another cup of coffee.

unplugged's picture

soon to be backed by $US Trillion coins - problem solved

strayaway's picture

Paul Krugman brought us a ray of sunshine by supporting the minting of trillion dollar platinum coins. However, I have a slightly better idea. Instead of platinum, Congress should plant a magic coconut tree in the Capitol Rotunda. Harvested magic coconuts that could be designated as coins and turned in to the Fed for a trillion dollars each will keep our economy growing. Since coconut trees can only produce a finite number of magic coconuts no matter how much water and fertilizer is supplied, we would eliminate the possibility of infinite zeros; one Zero already being enough. Besides being a sacred tourist attraction, the magic national coconut tree would represent the greening of and increasingly banana republic status of our country. 

secret_sam's picture

    meaning all this insanity in Congress has nothing to do with what underpins the dollar and our economy

I'm of similar mind.  There MUST be a reasonable explanation for why the amount of FEDGOV deficit spending over the past decade hasn't yet caused runaway inflation.

We have certainly seen price increase in most commodities, but is that increase really directly explained by the $11T of deficit spending since 2000?

Tall Tom's picture

The Banks are being paid off by the Fed to hold those reserves that they were recapitalized with. The Cliff Chart that the St. Louis Fed published in late 2007 or early 2008 demonstrated that Banking Deposits and Reserves had dropped sharply into negative territory. Without the recapitalization of the Banks in September 2008 the Banking Industry would have been toast. (That is what needed to happen.)


Once the Banks start to release this capital it will be a Inflationary Event that will blow your mind. They MUST loan to make money. Sooner or later the Fed will not be able to pay them enough to hold that capital. On that day you will see the effects of the madness that the Fed has sown.

secret_sam's picture

     Once the Banks start to release this capital it will be a Inflationary Event that will blow your mind.

Yes, yes, I know.  According to Johnny Williams and/or Petey Schiff, it's been "about to happen" every day for at least 4 years.

Who will the banks release this money (it damn sure ain't CAPITAL) *to*?  Are the 0.0001% of the global population with good credit histories suddenly going to take out ginormous loans for the purpose of buying tens of thousands of houses each?  Or billions of bushels of wheat?

I personally think velocity can continue to slow a hecka lot longer than the bankster-boys can keep their home countries from imploding. Obviously this is not a widely-held opinion around here, but maybe I'm just the real contrarian.

unplugged's picture

"While these are technically separate issues, it seems likely that they will be combined, perhaps into one package."

Wrong - they will be cut up into the smallest possible chunks and settled hours or minutes before the deadline, probably settled by extending the deadline. 

hooligan2009's picture

  • Partial disinvestment of the federal employee defined benefit pension fund (creating $33bn to $93bn in headroom).The Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) receives contributions for current employees of $2bn per month and pays out $6bn per month to former employees. 
  • Disinvesting the "G Fund" ($156bn in headroom). Treasury can temporarily replace some or all of those Treasuries that count toward the debt limit with an IOU that does not.
  • Disinvesting the Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund ($23bn in headroom). The $23bn portion of the fund invested in dollars is in non-marketable Treasuries, which could be disinvested immediately if necessary.

So, hmmm, how many "real" Treasuries are maturing in the "real world" that need to be refinanced/rolled/Ponzi'ed, alongside the fiscal deficit of the odd quarter of a trillion dollars in the next 6 weeks/two months?

Cycle's picture

However, another increase in tax revenue beyond the one enacted last week seems off the table for now, and there is little left to cut from the "discretionary" segment of the budget that was already cut significantly in 2011.

Why is the mil-ind budget that directly and indirectly consumes almost half the US budget considered a sacred cow?  In the abence of any declared war, the US spends more than all the rest of the world on "defense."

hooligan2009's picture

wonder why you can't be up arrowed?

secret_sam's picture

Lots of our politicians work for the military-industrial complex.  They don't want to eliminate their own careers.

q99x2's picture

Why doesn't someone ask GS what they have decided the US government will do?

ShrNfr's picture

Oh boy. Raise the debt ceiling by 2 Tn for a year, and gnerate cuts of 2 Tn over 10 years. What could ever go wrong?? After all, there is a 1 Tn a year shortfall, and 100 Bn a year in reductions.

SKY85hawk's picture

If only CONgresss would think as clearly as you do, sir.

Or, they be thinking the sheeple can't read between the lines.

sigh .  .   .

Steve in Greensboro's picture

Shut the U.S. government down until we get a balanced budget and a balanced budget amendment for the states to vote on.  The U.S. government has more than enough cash coming in to service its debt.  And if it wants to spend anything more, let it sell off Federal assets (including Federal lands) to the highest bidder.

lolmao500's picture

and marketable securities held by the Federal Reserve ($1.7 trillion)

Make that disappear.

NEOSERF's picture

With the trillion dollar coin debate raging, I am taking the bull by the horns, minting my own debt coins and plan to mail them to my mortgage provider with a "paid in full" note...thx for the great idea Congress!

cxl9's picture

Why don't they just index the debt ceiling to inflation? Surely that would fix everything.

hooligan2009's picture

you forgot the need to pay the banksters their annual 100 billion bonuses and the pentagon its 600 billion a year to keep men off the streets who would kick their asses into the middle of next week if they werent carted off to fight other peoples wars PLUS the 500 billion in food stamps for people who arent allowed to work because of jobs created in emerging markets by sacking those people (US workers).