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The U.S. government could default on its debt obligations by June 1st if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt ceiling. This would have far-reaching consequences in the United States and around the world. Why does the U.S. even have a debt limit when virtually no other country does? How often has the debt ceiling been raised in the past? What are the options to avoid default if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling? And what would be the likely consequences of a default? To address these questions, EconoFact Chats welcomes back Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution.

Bill is widely recognized as one of the country’s top experts on public finance. He is the author of ‘Fiscal Therapy: Curing Americans’ Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future.’