Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - President Obama say he is ready to have a conversation with Republicans as long as congress acts first to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, even if just for a short period.
The Treasury Department says the government must raise the borrowing limit by October 17th or risk default.
Raising the debt ceiling or increasing how much the government can borrow has nearly been automatic throughout US history, although it became an issue in 2011 before a compromise was reached.
The discussion of raising the debt ceiling has again became an issue between the Obama White House administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Many economists warn that not raising the debt ceiling could have devastating repercussions.
“You cannot have the federal government default on its debt, that is extremely serious, especially for all the people, businesses, nations that hold our bonds," said Don Dutkowsky, an Economics Professor at Syracuse University.
Dutkowsky described the issue as a person having a college loan and already on campus, then the bank calls them and says, ‘You can't borrow anymore.’
That student or their family would probably have to declare bankruptcy with no assets to draw from - which is not good for them - but far worse for the US government.
“Very soon there will be obligations the government has to pay for, but it won't have the ability to do so because it can't borrow. This has never happened in our history," Dutkowsky said.
Dutkowsky says it’s not the size of the debt, but the ratio of it to the national income.
He says all the talk of cutting spending or repaying debt has taken us away from the larger problem of getting the economy back to complete health.