Brumbaugh Wealth Management: Debt Ceiling. Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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After months in and out of the headlines, the issues surrounding the debt ceiling have come into sharp focus, as the U.S. could become unable to pay its bills as soon as June 1. There’s nothing like an impending deadline to force action.

What is the debt ceiling?

The debt ceiling is the amount of money the U.S. is authorized to borrow to pay its bills. Since the U.S. runs a budget deficit, the government is forced to borrow to make up the difference. Since Congress has the “power of the purse,” it sets spending limits and must approve any increase.

Why is this an issue?

A debt ceiling “crisis” is nothing new. Historically, Congress has always suspended or raised the debt limit to ensure the U.S. avoided default. But as happens frequently with divided government, Washington D.C. is currently at an impasse. Republicans in the House passed a bill that would raise the debt limit in exchange for spending cuts. Democrats, on the other hand, are looking for a bill without conditions. A deal will need to be reached where both sides make concessions.

What if a deal is not reached?

The U.S. failing to pay its bills in full and on time would have serious economic repercussions. In theory, a default could result in delayed payments of federal benefits, job losses, higher borrowing costs as U.S. debt is downgraded, and a global recession. The ramifications would be hard-hitting and unprecedented, which is why it hasn’t happened before, and probably won’t this time.

Where do we stand now?

Stocks closed higher on Wednesday after President Biden expressed optimism about debt ceiling talks, and both he and Speaker McCarthy expressed confidence that a default will be avoided. The President will return early from a trip to the G7 Summit to continue negotiations on Sunday. This is a good sign that, despite the harsh rhetoric from both sides, a deal will get done.

We know the markets don’t like uncertainty, so getting the debt ceiling issues behind us will be one less thing for markets to worry about. As your financial professional team, we’re here to help handle whatever is thrown at you and keep you focused on your financial goals.

If you have questions, we’re a phone call or email away at Brumbaugh Wealth Management.


Registered Representatives offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency LLC), Member FINRA/SIPC, a Broker-Dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Advisory services also offered through AdvisorNet Wealth Management. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other entity.

This information was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc. and has been made available for Cetera Advisor Networks and their representatives for distribution to the public for educational information only.  Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc. is not affiliated with nor controlled by Cetera.  The opinions/views expressed within are that of Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of Cetera or its representatives.  In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.  Neither Cetera nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice.  You should consult with financial professional, attorney, accountant, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decisions. 

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