While Cheney asks Americans to save more, (thanks bud) Treasury Secretary John Snow wants congress to raise the debt ceiling over its current limit of 8.18 trillion.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/congress_debt_dcWASHINGTON (Reuters) - A nasty budget fight is brewing in Congress as Senate Democrats and some conservative Republicans said on Friday that they will not support efforts this month to increase U.S. borrowing authority, a move needed to avoid a government default.
Democrats, who hope to gain control of the House and Senate in this year's congressional elections, are looking for a debate on the credit limit to highlight the nation's mounting debt at a time when President George W. Bush also is pushing to make his tax cuts permanent.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid put all 55 Senate Republicans on notice that they "are going to have to belly up to the bar and vote to increase the debt," saying it was Republican budgets that have created the massive deficit spending requiring more federal borrowing.
"Democrats are not going to vote to increase this debt," Reid said.
Without an increase in U.S. borrowing authority, the federal government could face default. That would mean Washington would not be able to continue writing checks for a variety of activities, from meeting federal workers' payrolls to paying some retiree benefits. Federal parks could close, aid for the poor could be withheld and the space shuttle likely would be docked.
Last April, without any support from Democrats, the Senate and House of Representatives approved a fiscal 2006 budget plan that envisioned the need for increasing U.S. borrowing authority by $781 billion.
More recently, Treasury Secretary John Snow urged Congress to increase the statutory debt limit, as his agency was bumping up against the $8.18 trillion limit.
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 09 Mar 2006 at 04:42:46 PM MST is:
The estimated population of the United States is 298,729,135
so each citizen's share of this debt is $27,719.98.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$2.17 billion per day since September 30, 2005!