Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Only One Democratic Country, Besides America, Has a Debt Ceiling

It's 14 days and counting until financial apocalypse descends upon U.S. markets, yet lawmakers are still seemingly eons away from striking a deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt limit. The ferocity of the debate coupled with the warnings of impending doom begs the question, why does America have a debt ceiling in the first place?

A report released Monday by Moody's analyst Steven Hess points out that the United States' debt limit "is an uncommon attribute not shared by most" countries. The U.S. is the only democratic country, besides Denmark, in which Congress has to approve borrowing separately from spending. In most other countries the authority to borrow money is inextricably tied to the authority to spend money

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