Currently, one of the biggest coverage hogs on the nightly news (besides the Casey Anthony travesty) is the increasingly alarming size of the national deficit, and the impending government shutdown due to the debt ceiling not being raised. States are having their budgets slashed left and right, and countries like Greece have actually turned to violence due to the draconian measures taken to save the state from disillusion. What it all comes down to is money, and the fact that everyone needs more of it. Right now, our government still spends money like it is going out of style, though. If we can’t stop them, we should at least be aware of what some of the money is being spent on, and try to stop the hemorrhaging.
For those of you who do not know what the debt ceiling is, let me explain it. The “debt ceiling,” set by congress, is basically just the amount of money that the U.S. Government is allowed to owe at any one time. This debt includes public debt (treasury bonds), and money borrowed against trust funds used for Medicare and Social Security. The first limit was set in 1917 at 11.5 billion, which at that time was considered more than enough. Now, the debt ceiling is set at $14.29 trillion, and as of May 16, we hit that threshold.