Debt Limit Appears Unlimited

The debt ceiling or debt limit is supposed to ensure that Congress is confronted with the consequences of out-of-control spending and borrowing in Washington. Like an alarm clock, the debt ceiling can offer a fiscal check on the government’s finances and encourages congressional deliberation of policies to control spending and debt. However, in recent years Congress has repeatedly suspended the debt ceiling, allowing the debt to rise unchecked. Congress must not suspend the debt ceiling again. Congress should enact fiscal controls to put the budget on a path to balance before raising the debt ceiling further.

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Updated March 28, 2024

Source: OMB

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