U.S. Debt as Campaign Issue

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicat...

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A new report suggests the U.S. may hit the $16.4 trillion debt limit as early as November, rather than 2013 as many lawmakers had hoped when the ceiling was raised last August. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the combination of lower-than-expected corporate tax revenues and the extension of the payroll tax holiday have accelerated the timeline and could lead to a renewal of the contentious debate over the national debt right around election time or during a post-election lame-duck session of Congress. The Center says that the exact timing will be influenced by a number of factors, including financial market instability and economic weakness in Europe; a substantial jump in gas prices; and the health of the U.S. economy. 

Regardless, January 2013 is shaping up as a momentous month for economic policymaking – with the debt limit, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on income, dividends and capital gains, and the end of the payroll tax holiday all on the agenda.

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