Answers to Your Debt Limit and Default Questions

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  • Q. How Close Is the Nation to the Limit?
  • Q. What Will Happen After Oct. 17?
  • 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. When the Government Runs Out of Cash Will It Default?

A. Not right away. A default would occur if the government fails to make a principal or interest payment on any of its Treasurys. The House has approved a bill to require the Treasury to make payments on the debt its top priority. Nevertheless, even if the government managed to stay current on its debts, it would fall behind on other bills.

(Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

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