The Budget and the Debt Ceiling: Round 2

9月30日, 2021, 国会在最后一刻通过了一项为政府运作提供资金的法案,从而避免了联邦政府可能关闭的局面, 2021.1 两周后, 另一项措施提高了债务上限,仅够维持联邦借贷到大约同一日期.2 Although these bills provided temporary relief, they did not resolve the fundamental issues, and Congress will have to act again by December 3.

你的形象.S. 国会大厦

支出和. 借款

国会经常同时考虑预算和债务上限, but they are separate fiscal issues. The budget authorizes future 支出, 而债务上限是联邦政府融资所必需的法定借款限额 already authorized 支出. 因此,提高债务上限并不会增加政府支出. 但是它允许借款来满足国会授权增加的开支.

预算和债务上限之间的这种关系的根本事实是,美国的债务上限是美国的债务上限.S. government runs on a deficit, and has done so every year since 2002.3 美国.S. 财政部通过国债、国库券和债券等有价证券来填补赤字. When the debt ceiling is reached, 财政部不能再发行将政府置于上限之上的证券.

Twelve Appropriations Bills

The federal fiscal year begins on October 1, 在此之前,针对不同政府部门的12项拨款法案将获得通过,为国防和国家公园运营、食品安全和联邦雇员的工资等活动提供资金.4 这些可自由支配的拨款约占联邦开支的三分之一, with the other two-thirds, including Social Security and Medicare, prescribed by law.5

尽管联邦机构最好在财政年度开始时就知道他们的运营预算, the deadline to pass all 12 bills has not been met since FY 1997.6 This year, none of the bills had passed as of late October.7

为了为进一步的预算谈判争取时间,国会通常会通过一项法案 continuing resolution该法案根据一个固定的公式将联邦开支延长到一个特定的日期. 9月30日的持续决议将2021财年的支出水平延长至12月3日.8 Adding to the stakes of this year’s budget negotiations, 2011年制定的可自由支配支出上限已于9月30日到期, 2021, 因此,2022财年的预算水平可能会成为未来支出的基准.9

Raising the Ceiling

债务限额最早是在1917年设立的,目的是在第一次世界大战期间方便政府借债. 从那时起, the limit has been raised or suspended almost 100 times, often with little or no conflict.10 然而, in recent years, it has become more contentious. In 2011, negotiations came so close to the edge that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. government credit rating.11

A two-year suspension expired on August 1 of this year. At that time, the federal debt was about $28.4万亿年, 由于2020年在两党支持下通过了3万亿美元的大流行刺激方案,最近出现了大幅增长, 以及2021年美国救援计划和2017年减税和就业法案的持续影响.12–13 在8月 1之后,财政部通过采取某些“非常措施”来维持现金流,从而为业务提供资金. 美国财政部长珍妮特•耶伦(Janet Yellen)预计,这些措施将在10月18日用尽.14

10月14日签署的法案将债务上限提高了4800亿美元, 这是财政部估计在12月3日前偿还政府债务所需的金额, again using extraordinary measures. Unlike the budget extension, which is a hard deadline, the debt ceiling date is an estimate, and the Treasury may have a little breathing room.1516


不断增加的债务

The national debt has tripled since the Great Recession, 包括最近由于大流行救济和税收减少而出现的激增.

U.S. Government Debt, in Trillions

你上升.S. government debt from January 2000 through October 2021. Debt rose from $5.75 trillion on 1/3/2000 to $9.2 trillion on 1/2/2008 and reached $28.9 trillion on 10/25/2021.

资料来源:美国.S. 2021年财政部、


Potential Consequences

如果预算拨款法案或其他持续性决议在12月3日前未获通过, the government will be forced to shut down unfunded operations, with the exception of some essential services. This occurred in fiscal years 2013, 2018, 和2019年, with shutdowns lasting 16 days, 3天,  35天, 分别. 参议院的一份报告估计,三次停摆花费了纳税人近40亿美元和近57亿美元,000 years of lost production time.17

Although the consequences of a government shutdown would be serious, the economy has bounced back from previous shutdowns. 相比之下,美国经济衰退.S. 政府违约将是前所未有的,并可能导致拖欠账单, higher interest rates, and a loss of faith in U.S. 这将对全球经济产生影响. 美联储(Federal Reserve)有一项应急计划,可能会减轻短期违约的影响, 但美联储主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔强调,美联储不能“保护金融市场”, 和经济, and the American people from the consequences of default.”18

考虑到风险, it is unlikely that Congress will allow the government to default, but the road to raising the debt ceiling is unclear. 这一临时措施是通过两党同意暂停参议院阻挠议事规则, which effectively requires 60 votes to move most legislation forward. 但是,这是一次性的异常,可能无法再次使用. Another possibility may be to attach a provision to the education, 医疗保健, and climate package slated to move through a complex budget reconciliation process that allows a bill to bypass the Senate filibuster. 然而, the reconciliation process is time-consuming, 目前还不清楚债务上限是否符合议会的要求.19

The budget and the debt ceiling are serious issues, but Congress has always found a way to resolve them in the past. 一般来说,明智的做法是根据个人目标制定长期投资策略, 时间框架, and risk tolerance, 而不是对政治冲突和由此产生的市场波动反应过度.

U.S. 国库券由联邦政府保证及时支付本息. 国库券的本金价值随市场状况而波动. 如果不持有至到期,它们的价值可能会高于或低于最初支付的金额. 所有投资均受市场波动、风险及本金损失之影响. 当出售时,投资的价值可能高于或低于其原始成本.