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A Few Good Reads
Here are a few of my favorite reads from the past week.
1. Poll: 44 percent of Americans oppose raising debt ceiling
Americans overwhelmingly do not think Congress should raise the nation’s debt limit as President Barack Obama and Congress prepare once again to wage battle over the issue, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
By a 44-22 percent margin, Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling, which again puts the president in the difficult position of needing to make the case for an unpopular policy with a deadline quickly approaching.
The poll results come as the U.S. Treasury Department says the country will reach its debt limit by mid-October. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates the limit will be reached by Oct. 18, and the U.S. could default by Nov. 5. Click to continue
2. Tax refunds could face debt ceiling delays
With the start of the 2014 tax-filing season delayed until Jan. 31, tens of thousands of taxpayers already have had to wait longer than planned for their federal tax refund.
Now those refunds could be threatened by the debt ceiling fight.
Debt deadline nigh:
The debt ceiling is the limit on the amount of money that the United States can borrow to pay its bills. Last October, as part of the deal to reopen the federal government, the limit was suspended through Feb. 7. Treasury Department Secretary Jack Lew says his office can finagle things using so-called “extraordinary measures” to keep the country from defaulting on its bills through the end of this month. Click to continue
3. Another option for avoiding a debt-ceiling disaster:
Steven L. Schwarcz from Duke Law argues that President Obama might have new options if there’s another constitutional showdown with Congress over raising the debt ceiling.
Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has exclusive authority to issue debt “on the credit of the United States.” Congress has long delegated some of that power to the Treasury Department. To avoid having to micromanage the Treasury Department’s debt issuances, Congress created the public debt limit—colloquially known as the “debt ceiling”—within which the Treasury Department has virtually unfettered debt-issuance authority. Click to continue
4. More Americans face retiring with debt:
You may have big dreams for your retirement: sailing around the world, starting a new business, spoiling the grandkids.
But if you’re piling up more debt than savings, those retirement dreams may have to be deferred.
It turns out the majority of people who contribute to retirement plans, such as 401(k)s or 403(b)s, accumulated more debt than retirement savings in recent years, according to a study by HelloWallet. Click to continue
5. The Embarrassing Debt Ceiling Ritual:
Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary, must be tired of this embarrassing ritual by now. Every few months, he has to notify Congress that the entirely unnecessary borrowing limit that lawmakers have insisted on imposing must be raised yet again. Then he has to wait while Republicans contort themselves to keep the government out of default while trying to persuade the hard right that they really hate doing so.
It happened again Monday morning. In a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center, Mr. Lew reminded Congress that the last reprieve from default madness expires on Friday, after which the Treasury will have only a few days of cash-shuffling before it runs out of money. The situation is particularly dire this month, he said, because the government has to begin sending out tax refunds and thus draws down its cash faster. Click to continue
Recent Posts On This That and the MBA
This That and The MBA was included in several carnivals over the last weeks:
Thank you for the mentions last week. I really appreciate it. Have a great weekend!