The debt ceiling is a limit imposed by Congress on the amount of outstanding national debt that the federal government is permitted to have.
The debt ceiling was first established in 1917, and it has been raised 78 times since then. The most recent increase was in December 2021, when the debt ceiling was raised to $31.381 trillion.
The debt ceiling can be controversial because it can lead to political brinkmanship and economic uncertainty. When the debt ceiling is reached, the government cannot borrow any more money, which can lead to a government shutdown or a default on the national debt. A government shutdown would mean that many government services would be closed, and a default on the national debt would have a significant impact on the economy.
In recent years, the debt ceiling has become a more frequent source of political conflict. In 2011, the debt ceiling was raised 10 times in order to avoid a government shutdown. In 2013, the debt ceiling was raised twice, and the government shutdown lasted for 16 days. In 2017, the debt ceiling was raised once, and the government shutdown lasted for three days.
The debt ceiling is a complex issue with no easy solutions. It is important to understand the history of the debt ceiling and the potential consequences of not raising it.