President Barack Obama will appeal to business leaders on Wednesday (09/18/2013) to urge Congress to approve an increase in the U.S. debt limit and avoid a default that is possible as early as mid-October.
The U.S. Treasury is expected to exhaust measures to avoid exceeding the $16.7 trillion debt limit as soon as mid-October. If the cap is not raised, the United States will not be able to pay all of its bills and would go into default.
Obama will tell business leaders that they should pile pressure on Congress, which must vote to increase U.S. borrowing capacity, to avoid a default.
Let's go back to when he took office, shall we?
“We cannot, and will not, sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation.
We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone, we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt -- one in every 10 taxpayer dollars. That is more than three times what we spent on education that year; more than seven times what we spent on VA health care.
So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road as our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes, and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they're saddled with our debts.
And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we've long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay -- and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.
And we will reinstate the pay-as-you-go rule that we followed during the 1990s -- the rule that helped us start this new century with a $236 billion surplus. In recent years, we've strayed from this rule -- and the results speak for themselves. The pay-go approach is based on a very simple concept: You don't spend what you don't have. So if we want to spend, we'll need to find somewhere else to cut. This is the rule that families across this country follow every single day -- and there's no reason why their government shouldn't do the same.”
President Barack Obama, February 23rd, 2009