The US government is shut down, and has been for one week as of writing. The government is also supposed to require a debt ceiling increase by Oct 17, or else the government will fail to be able to pay its debts. How is the first crisis affecting the second, specifically in the deadline? If the US Government is still shut down on October 17, will the debt ceiling still be reached?

1 Answer 1


For the most part, I would say that the first crisis (the shutdown) is affecting the second (debt limit) more politically than technically. Although, I suppose that without a budget to operate on, the Treasury may in fact have more cash on hand then it otherwise would, thus allowing the actual point at which it runs out of money to be pushed back (albeit a small amount).

As for the debt ceiling being reached I think it already has (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and what the Oct. 17th deadline is referring to is the point at which the government runs out of cash to pay ALL of its bills. Note: The government still will have inflows, they will just exceed the outflows.

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    That would be true if the government actually shut down. 83% is still operating washingtonexaminer.com/… Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:01
  • @Chad - Which part 'would' be true? They are still not spending 17% of what they normally would, and as far as I know Lew's (Sec of Treas) original deadline of Oct 17th was assuming that a Continuing Resolution would be passed. So why wouldn't there be less outflows?
    – jsb1109
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 1:56
  • the 83 percent figure is only accurate when considering the cost of government services that are shut down. In terms of employees, or other metrics, you're looking at a lot more of the government being shut down.
    – Publius
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 1:56
  • @JSB1109 - "the Treasury may in fact have more cash on hand then it otherwise would," Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 3:59
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    @CHAD - I dont understand how that affects the statement I made. If they are spending at any rate lower then 100% of normal, wouldn't there be more cash on hand? (Assuming no tax policy change and inflows are constant (or consistent is probably a better word).
    – jsb1109
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 13:04

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