By the time you read this, the U.S. government may be in default of its debts, starting on Aug. 2. That’s because Congress will have failed to raise the debt ceiling – the maximum amount of the difference between all U.S. government income and all U.S. government spending ever since the government started – by that date.
It’s sort of like you maxing out on your credit card, and your bank won’t raise the credit limit. Except in this case, it’s Congress – over the years – maxing out on the credit card, and this particular Congress refusing for political reasons to raise the limit.
But what does that mean for you and me? We’ve been casting around for explanations of the practical effect and there seem to be precious few. But here’s what we’ve been able to cull from President Obama versus the Republican Radical Right – his bitterest foes, who refuse to believe there’s a problem at all.