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You Can’t Handle the Truth

Understanding the Debt Ceiling

The federal debt ceiling will be reinstated on August 1, 2021, at around $28.5 trillion. At that point, the Treasury Department will begin using accounting tools at their disposal, called “extraordinary measures,” to avoid defaulting on the government’s obligations. The Treasury Department has estimated that these measures will be exhausted as soon as mid-to-late-September, while the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Bipartisan Policy Center and other outside analysts predict exhaustion in the fall near the start of the next fiscal year (e.g., likely September, October, or November). At that point, absent a new agreement to either raise or suspend the debt ceiling, the Treasury will be unable to continue paying the nation’s bills. Congress could address the debt ceiling through reconciliation, which provides for passage of legislation with a simple majority vote in the Senate.

The national debt is the total amount of outstanding borrowings by the U.S. Federal government, accumulated over our history. The Federal government needs to borrow money to pay its bills when its ongoing operations cannot be funded by Federal revenues alone. When this happens, the U.S. Treasury Department creates and sells securities. These securities are the debt owed by the Federal government. There are many different types of Treasury debt; bills, notes, and bonds are the most common ones. The various types of debt differ primarily in when they mature—ranging from a few days to 30 years—and in how much interest they pay. The United States has not run an annual surplus since 2001, and has thus borrowed to fund government operations every year since then.

The debt limit is a ceiling imposed by Congress on the amount of debt that the U.S. Federal government can have outstanding. This limit has been set at $28.4 trillion since August 1st, 2021.

It is also important to note that the debt limit is not a forward-looking budgeting tool that reveals what policymakers think are ideal levels of spending and revenue. Rather, it reflects the spending and revenue decisions debated and enacted in prior years by prior Congresses and Administrations; in fact, 97 percent of the current national debt stems from policy choices made before the Biden Administration took office in January 2021—choices made by both parties on their own and in a bipartisan fashion. The debt limit is the amount that the U.S. Treasury can borrow to pay the bills that have become due based on these prior policy decisions.

Once the debt limit is hit, the Federal government cannot increase the amount of outstanding debt; therefore, it can only draw from any cash on hand and spend its incoming revenues. The U.S. Treasury can also take certain “extraordinary measures” to extend how long it can continue to pay all the government’s obligations while staying below the limit. These measures include accounting techniques within several government accounts that temporarily reduce the amount of U.S. Treasury securities issued to those accounts. These actions include suspending new investments or redeeming existing investments early. By reducing the amount of outstanding Treasury securities, the level of outstanding debt temporarily falls, slightly extending the amount of time that the government can continue to satisfy its obligations.

When the U.S. Treasury exhausts its cash and extraordinary measures, the Federal government loses any means to pay its bills and fund its operations beyond its incoming revenues, which only cover part of what is required (about 80 percent in 2019). While the United States has hit the debt limit before, it has never run out of resources and failed to meet its financial obligations. Take the debt limit crises in 2011 and 2013, for example; the debt ceiling was raised in the former episode (Congress raised the cap by an explicit dollar amount) and suspended in the latter (Congress eliminated the debt limit entirely for a specified period of time) in time, before the U.S. Treasury ran out of cash and exhausted all extraordinary measures. More recently, in 2019, the United States once again hit the debt limit, but Congress suspended the ceiling, eliminating the cap until August 1st, 2021.

Instant Cup of Soup

Oh my goodness it’s only a 3rd cup of soup

Hospitals

Why are thrillers in a hospital setting dimly lit??

Goodnight Melvin Van Peeples

Don’t Wear Your Mask – Don’t Get Vaccinated

@GOP et.,al

What’s Happening in Brazil

Halloween Rules

Covid – Have We Learned Anything

How Did It Start

Coronaviruses are a big family of different viruses. Some of them cause the common cold in people. Others infect animals, including bats, camels, and cattle. But how did SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, come into being?

Here’s what we know about the virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has set off a global pandemic.
Where Did the Coronavirus Come From?

Experts say SARS-CoV-2 originated in bats. That’s also how the coronaviruses behind Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) got started.

SARS-CoV-2 made the jump to humans at one of Wuhan’s open-air “wet markets.” They’re where customers buy fresh meat and fish, including animals that are killed on the spot.

Some wet markets sell wild or banned species like cobras, wild boars, and raccoon dogs. Crowded conditions can let viruses from different animals swap genes. Sometimes the virus changes so much it can start to infect and spread among people.

Still, the Wuhan market didn’t sell bats at the time of the outbreak. That’s why early suspicion also fell on pangolins, also called scaly anteaters, which are sold illegally in some markets in China. Some coronaviruses that infect pangolins are similar to SARS-CoV-2.

Time Line

31 Dec 2019

Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.

1 January 2020

WHO had set up the IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization: headquarters, regional headquarters and country level, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.

4  January 2020

WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province.

5 January 2020

WHO published our first Disease Outbreak News on the new virus. This is a flagship technical publication to the scientific and public health community as well as global media. It contained a risk assessment and advice, and reported on what China had told the organization about the status of patients and the public health response on the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

Masks

The story of mask requirements in the United States has had many twists and turns since the early days of the pandemic, when the U.S. surgeon general urged Americans to “STOP BUYING MASKS!”

Since then, government and public health leaders have urged us to wear face masks even when walking around our neighborhoods alone, and told us to keep wearing them even after receiving the protection of highly effective vaccines.

It wasn’t until May that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told fully vaccinated Americans that they could be exempt from nearly all mask requirements. The state of California followed suit with rules that went into effect when the economy reopened on June 15.

Now, as the highly transmissible Delta variant causes coronavirus cases to spike across the nation, indoor mask mandates are back in L.A. County regardless of vaccination status, and the CDC has updated its guidance as well. On Tuesday, the agency advised that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the virus is surging.

The question is – Why are waiting for the Delta variant to get worse before EVERY state implements the SAME MANDATE simultaneously?

What’s your response?

Covid by Stats by State