Answers to Your Debt Limit and Default Questions

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  • Q. When the Government Runs Out of Cash Will It Default?
  • Q. Couldn’t the Government Simply Print More Money?
  • Q. If They Can’t Print More Money, What Else Could Treasury Do?
  • Q. Would Delaying Payments Avoid a Default?
  • Q. Could President Obama Ignore the Debt Limit?
  • Q. What do Global Investors Thinking, Are they Panicking?
  • Q. What Would Be the Economic Impact?
  • Q. Is the Debacle About an Out-Of-Control Budget Deficit?
  • Q. Why is it Potentially Catastrophic for the Government to Default?
  • Debt Ceiling Dilemma
  • Q. What is the Debt Ceiling?
  • Q. How Close Is the Nation to the Limit?
  • Q. What Will Happen After Oct. 17?

Q. If They Can’t Print More Money, What Else Could the Treasury Do?

A. It could make its interest payments first; then delay all other payments until it collects enough tax revenue to make a full day's payments. That would avoid choosing among competing obligations. However, doing so, would lead most other payments such as Social Security and Medicare to be delayed.   

(Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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