Special Report: U.S. Debt Crisis
by Jiang Xufeng, Liu Lina
WASHINGTON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- With the clock ticking toward a debt default deadline, politicians in Washington are still wasting precious time on finger-pointing, public showdowns and tough backdoor bargains to secure the best deal for their own parties -- a testament to the entrenched political divisiveness in the United States before the 2012 presidential election.
Experts held that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, former President George W. Bush's tax cuts, and economic stimulus measures under President Barack Obama to tide over the severe economic recession all contributed in a major way to the spiking U.S. national debt.
The U.S. federal government's borrowing limit, currently at 14.29 trillion U.S. dollars, was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department said the nation would begin to default without an agreement to lift the limit by Aug. 2, as it would run out of maneuvering room to pay its bills.
The debt limit is the total amount of money the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds and other payments.
In a Monday night national presidential address, Obama reaffirmed Aug. 2 as the deadline, pressing Congress to take immediate measures to raise the federal government's borrowing capacity to stave off a debt default turmoil.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, in New York Tuesday called on U.S. lawmakers to resolve the debt ceiling issue immediately and adopt a credible fiscal adjustment "sooner rather than later."