Amid the political fingerpointing over which party will catch the blame if Congress fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit, comes the stark reality of what bills get paid after Aug. 2, if the U.S. government can’t borrow more money.
A group of House Republicans wrote a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday to say there would be plenty of money from tax receipts to make interest payments to creditors, pay Social Security retirement benefits, cover Medicare health payments and pay U.S. military troops.
Senate Democrats at a news conference made clear that once those bills were paid, little would be left for anything else.
“It would require the Treasury to make some very dark and difficult choices,” said Senator Charles Schumer, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership.
The U.S. monthly revenue totals $172 billion, while its monthly obligations total $307 billion. Payments for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, interest on the debt, troops and defense needs will gobble up the entire monthly income.