Mrs. Schuler- Debt Ceiling

Name                                                                                                                                                                    Period                  

Directions: In this lesson, you will be guided through a variety of texts including an audio source as well as journal and newspaper sources. Please follow the steps in order and record your answers in the space below.

EQ: Evaluate the costs and benefits to the budget deal signed last week preventing US debt default. Overall was this passage good or bad for Americans?

Step 1: Read and answer the 2 overview questions below.

 What Is the Debt Ceiling?

The debt ceiling is the legal limit set by Congress on the total amount that the U.S. Treasury can borrow. If the level of federal debt hits the debt ceiling, the government cannot legally borrow additional funds until Congress raises the debt ceiling.

Congress has the legal authority to raise the debt ceiling as needed. Doing so does not authorize new spending, but rather allows the Treasury to pay the bills for spending that has already been authorized by Congress.

  1. Answer: What is the debt ceiling?




Why Is There a Debt Ceiling?

The debt ceiling evolved from restrictions that Congress placed on federal debt from nearly the founding of the country. Legislation that laid the groundwork for the current debt ceiling was passed in 1917, and. the debt ceiling was established in 1917, specifically as a way to help fund the American participation in WWI through Liberty Bonds. The first overall debt ceiling was passed in 1939.

On a base level it became a way for the legislative branch to control federal spending. Or rather, Congress has the power of the purse. It has become a reality of the relationship between Congress and the Executive that the debt ceiling has to be raised periodically in statute, allowing the Treasury department to borrow more and manage the nation's current debt

The debt ceiling as a concept in legislative practice is certainly in keeping with our governing principles: it forces a public vote from our elected representatives, and thus an ensuing public debate that the country can weigh in on. The debt ceiling has been raised more than 100 times, including more than a dozen times since 2000.

  1. Answer: Why is there a debt ceiling? (Address the role of elected representatives in your answer and use the term, CHECKS AND BALANCES- circle this word in your answer.)








Step 2: Read and/or Listen to “What Happens If Congress Doesn’t Raise the Debt Ceiling?”  

Identify 4 things that would potentially happen if the Debt Ceiling was not raised.













Step 3: Read “Massive Budget Deficits Will Burden Our Children with Debt” and “Deficits Do Not Matter”.Both these articles have been downloaded for you from the Opposing Viewpoints Database, available through the District Library website. This is a WONDERFUL database that will come in VERY handy for PIG. Take time to locate the database on our new District Website.  Ask Mrs Raab or Mrs Schuler for help if you cannot find it!












Fill in the T Chart below using the 2 articles

Pros to Raising the Debt Ceiling

Cons to Raising the Debt Ceiling

















Step 4: Read the article “Here’s What’s In the New Budget and Debt Ceiling Deal”

Answer the EQ - Use text-based evidence, quotes and statistics from your documents to support and clearly explain your answer.

Evaluate the costs and benefits to the budget deal signed last week preventing US debt default. Overall was this passage good or bad for Americans?