While everyday people are looking at their bottom lines, lawmakers have their eyes trained on the debt ceiling. So as the countdown to default day draws near, White House spokesman Jay Carney is now being asked to answer a barrage of questions about the consequences of missing next week’s deadline. “What happens if the debt ceiling is not lifted is we no longer have the ability to borrow money. Even as money flows in, it will not cover our bills. The moment we send the signal we can’t borrow money, you’ve created a horrendous situation,” Carney said.
As the clock ticks, the debt debate’s effects are being felt right now, according to the White House. Carney said, “It’s already had enough of a negative impact on the economy and it could have more of a negative impact. In an economy where people are already concerned about their car loans, home loans, student loan payments, the president is here to ensure the economy is protected.”
Officials acknowledge they weren’t prepared to see this debate drag on as long as it has. And while other administrations have raised the debt ceiling, this time it’s being viewed as a political pawn. Carney said, “We’ve never had a situation like this. There was not the idea that I’m going to blow up the economy if you don’t do what I want.”
Politics aside, there are legitimate concerns about whether any kind of deal can be reached in time. But Carney said, “If there is no chance to get a grand compromise, we’re looking in the short-term to lock in significant cuts and at least to lift the cloud over our economy.”
Related Exclusive Video: White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on the Debt Limit
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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