New York (CNNMoney) – Congress narrowly avoided pushing the country off the fiscal cliff. But it has done nothing to address the next and potentially bigger risk to the economy: the need to raise the debt ceiling.
To help separate fact from fiction in the battle, here's what you need to know about the issue.
I don't know if someone has answered this question, but if Congress sets up a debt ceiling, but then authorizes spending that exceeds the debt ceiling, doesn't the second law override the first? Republicans, you did pass continuing resolutions authorizing the spending. Why are you complaining about Obama spending the money that you have authorized?
The debt ceiling is a necessary evil because of how the Consitution defines how spending and borrowing should take place. Those definitions are in two locations, seemingly unrelated to one another beyond the fact that the House must originate all revenue related bills.
Bills are passed to authorize spending. Bills are passed authorize borrowing. Without a debt ceiling, we would probably have to pass a bill authorize the borrowing item by item, which would prove unwieldy. Enter the debt ceiling, a pre-authorization to borrow to a certain limit with the details of how it is being spent filled in as you go.