Local economist highlights importance of raising debt ceiling - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local economist highlights importance of raising debt ceiling


ALBANY, N.Y. -- If lawmakers do not vote and raise the debt ceiling, the effects on the nation's economy could be felt in households across America.

Economist Hugh Johnson stresses that if no deal is made to increase the debt limit, we will all feel the ramifications.

"If you default, that could create enormous issues in the financial markets," said Johnson, who highlighted the importance of raising the current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

That ceiling is how much money the United States Government is authorized to borrow to meet obligations as far as Medicare benefits and interest payments on national debt and tax refunds.

"If we default on our debt and don't make payments, it will have serious implications on interest rates and impacts on stock prices and impacts on the economy," said Johnson.

The public could feel that when they go to buy a house or a car, as those interest rates could sky rocket.  Also, Johnson says, it will send a negative message to other countries.

"It isn't just domestic investors, but investors throughout the world.  What does it say if we can't pay our bills?" he said.

But some lawmakers argue it is dangerous to keep raising our level of debt here in the United States.

"What they are saying is we should have some real hard revenue reform, which means tax increases or spending cuts so we don't continue to borrow more money because that's not good for the financial health of the economy."

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