An Interactive History of the U.S. Debt Ceiling

We hope you'll enjoy the following interactive series of charts on the U.S. debt ceiling from 1917 to the present day. For more information on the history of the debt ceiling, please click here.


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  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2012, at 6:55 PM, ynotc wrote:

    The essence of this column is that witht he exception of 1945 this year is the first time that debt has exceeded GDP.

    Common sense says that you can't spend more than you make for very long without dire reprucussions.

    All of the rest of the information is interesting but does little to get us to the point that people are ready to accept tightening the belt and getting to work to whittle this thing down.

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2012, at 8:35 PM, artheen wrote:

    America is the only country in the World, with rich beggers !

  • Report this Comment On December 18, 2012, at 10:46 PM, jmlerche wrote:

    I noticed the same thing ynotc...

  • Report this Comment On December 26, 2012, at 8:11 PM, Margate wrote:

    This is a popular misconception. I live in Germany two to three months every year and comparing any large city in Germany -- Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Koln, Moers with larger cities in the US -- Chicago, Philly, DC and New York in pure numbers there appear to be considerably moe begging in the US. As to how "well off" they are that varies significantly. One often sees young people begging who seemed quite well dressed who are probably just trying to pick up some loose change. They are not "full-time beggars." On the other hand one frequently sees beggars missing an appendage, one suspects Diabetes playing a big role. Their clothes, complexion, and teeth suggest a hard life living on the edge. To be sure there are actors in this regard dressing the part, though missing feet seemed hard to fake, but how do we know? Have you followed them home and seen where they live? I certainly have not. Another indicator that points to the condition of the poor iin our coutntry are the number classified as living in poverty. In 2010 15.1% were classified as living in poverty which means for two adults with no children they are making less than $14,602 dollars a year. I doubt anyone would regard that as sumptuous. In Germany in contrst varies by state where it is less than 4% iin Bavaria and 15% in Berlin. I would argue there are also far more extensive public services for the poor.

  • Report this Comment On December 27, 2012, at 10:32 AM, FoolishVintner wrote:

    Isn't it strange that Congress gets to impose a debt limit on spending that Congress has already authorized?

    If that works, can I impose a weight-gaining limit on all the holiday candy I've already eaten?

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