A new era…. Or nation of America?

Thomas Owens, Staff Reporter

As of the evening of Oct. 7th, the national debt limit has been moved from later this month to December. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (C.F.R), the debt level has not been this high since 1946, shortly after World War II.  

 President Joe Biden, previously pledged to spend trillions of dollars toward boosting the economy. With this in mind, some fear we may hit the debt ceiling and fall into what is known as a “debt trap,” which may bring many concerns. 

 A debt ceiling is a legislative limit on the amount of national debt that can be incurred by the U.S. Treasury, thus limiting how much money the federal government may pay on the debt they already borrowed. 

 “The debt doesn’t matter till it does,” Maya MacGuineas of the BCRFB stated. She also states that, “By taking advantage of our position, we may lose it”.  

The C.B.O measures that this economic deficit has swelled to three trillion dollars in 2020, which since 1946, is 15% higher. Prior to it all back in 2017, the former U.S President Donald Trump signed several legislations implying debt is the most significant being on Dec. 22 with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This act amended the internal revenue code of 1986. 

According to The New York Times, it is believed that the 14th amendment may be invoked. The amendment states that “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties of services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States; but all such debts, obligations, or claims shall be held illegal or void”. The “economic time bomb”, as the New York Times states, has technically been breached since July of 2019. Some assume that by some time on October 15th through November 4th the limit may be truly reached, causing a slow collapse of the United States of America. The current debt is approximately 28.43 trillion U.S dollars, according to Peter G. Peterson’s foundation live tracker. To put that in perspective, the debt was a mere 20.93 trillion just last year. 

As for people from the Washington Post, Mark Zandi estimated that cost of fall may cause over six million jobs and over 15 trillion dollars in wealth. A dark thought for the possible “immediate recession” of the United States by October 20th unless the debt is suspended. Right now, legislators and congress seem to be frantically looking for some solution. The strain of the national debt spurs from Covid-19 stimulus checks and relief efforts, as well as money used on the American recession from the Middle East. Methods other than moving the deadline further into the year or the year to come is currently unknown, as of October 8th. Perhaps allies such as China, who is the United States’ main trading source, France, or Britain will step in to help.  

As for the citizens of the U.S., all we can do is wait and see what will become of our country. Maybe we will remain the United States, the country we all know and have known. Maybe our country could join the Ottoman empire, the 3rd Reich, Tsarist Russia, and former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic in the graveyard of collapsed superpowers.