The Washington Post

Debt-ceiling drama: Friday, Aug. 5

Treasury is expected to take in $7 billion. But it will have $12 billion in expenses. Medicaid and Medicare payments, unemployment benefits, welfare, food stamps, and federal salaries and benefits amount to $6.7 billion. Treasury’s cash deficit would be $31 billion.

Remember, raising the debt ceiling is not giving Obama a blank check. Doing so allows the federal government to pay the bills run up by previous presidents and Congresses. All told, in the month of August, the federal government will have $306 billion in bills with only $172 billion in hand to pay them. Coming up with the remaining $134 billion for the month will force the Obama administration to make some ugly and heart-wrenching choices. After last night’s failed attempt at a vote in the House, we’re pretty much guaranteed to go to the very last minute.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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