JPANet: Raise the Debt Ceiling & Protect our Communities
midst of our severe, prolonged economic downturn, the federal government is
borrowing money to pay its bills and meet its obligations. By law, Congress
sets the limit (ceiling) on the amount of money the government may borrow. If
it is to continue to function, Congress must increase the government’s debt
limit before August 2.
the debt ceiling is essentially a book-keeping task. It does not change federal
spending. At this time, the budget for the federal government is set through
the end of September, 2011. In the coming months, Congress will pass a budget
for the next fiscal year, October, 2011, through September, 2012. Raising the
debt ceiling does not affect these budgets, increase spending, or change the
size of the deficit.
members of Congress are refusing to support an increase in the debt limit
except as part of a package that includes huge spending cuts. These reductions
in spending, if they follow the pattern established in the House of
Representatives’ recent budget proposal, would target programs for low- and
moderate-income people and essential government functions. The cuts would
further harm people who are already suffering and prolong (and possibly worsen)
the economic downturn.
conditions that are attached to an increase in the debt ceiling should target
reductions in the deficit, not just cuts in government spending. Shrinking the
deficit must be done through both spending cuts and tax increases on wealthy households and corporations. Tax
increases as well as spending cuts must be part of any effort to reduce the deficit.
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Dear [Decision Maker],
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