Lew: Crossing debt ceiling dangerous and 'unthinkable'
October 6th, 2013
02:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Lew: Crossing debt ceiling dangerous and 'unthinkable'

New York (CNNMoney) - If the United States were to get close to the debt ceiling deadline, or even go over it, the consequences would be unthinkable, warned U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

In a series of TV interviews, Lew sounded alarm bells over the fast-approaching limit to the U.S. borrowing authority. With the deadline just over a week away, Lew blasted lawmakers for "playing with fire" by not raising the debt limit.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • Jack Lew • national debt
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. ED1

    Cry wolf to many times just spend what you have and you will not have a problem.

    This is one reason our Government sucks at running a business they don't have a clue and neither do the people from the President on down.

    You can't run a Government or anything if you don't have a balanced budget period.

    October 6, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. The Elephant in The Room

    The US Goverment will owe creditors some $75 Billion in a few weeks that it doesn't have on hand right now. I'd like Candy crowley, Wolf Blitzer, David Gregory, Mikw Wallace, etc. to ask both Democrats [like lew] and Republicans [like Cruz] precisely what that money will be spent on. How much for past principle & interest [associated with PAST debt from Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush]? How much of it is for Joint Strike Fighters and MV-22s being delivered this moth but were ordered by Congress and approved by DUBYA? How much of it is for Oil Industry exploration tax credits to Mobil / Exxon, Shell, etc? [Kspending advocated in favor of by the likes of Cruz]. Our national press owes C.ciotiozens a little critical thought in their questions that will explode thew GOP LIE that the Debt ceiling increase is somehow a favor to Mr. Obama or "Tax & Spend" liberals. This is the misinformation that Cruz, Boehner & other anti-Obamaties are trying to spread.

    October 6, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Thomas


    I'm convinced now that the GOP insane . For men such as Ted Cruz to toss sand in the gears of the economy when it's showing signs of recovery is pathetic .

    The same mentality that said there was WMD's in Iraq , that the war would be over in a week , we would be welcomed as liberators .

    Ted Cruz will not be held responsible for causing such great harm to America . A lawyers Dream !

    October 6, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    The Canadian terrorist and his teatards want to attach defunding Obamacare again(!), the keystone pipeline (again with Canada coming out ahead) and other provisions against the middle class and the poor.
    These cretins are really being ruled boy lunatics from red states.

    October 6, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Ron L

    Here is the problem with letting the Debt Ceiling appropriation not be signed. If those that believe it will have little effect on the economy immediately are wrong,
    1) the stock market will lose 1000 to 2000 points in a manner of days (which will effect everyone's 401k's)
    2) the US will lose it's its AAA- rating and go down to a B+
    3) the interest rate on the debt will go HIGHER costing the country more money to pay off the very thing we all dislike.

    IS THIS REALLY WORTH RISKING??? I don't think so. It is just illogical and nothing good can come from it.

    October 6, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |

    59% of American disapprove of the republicans gov't shut down, and that's a Fox's poll !

    October 6, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. President Messiah Darky

    It is my way or nothing. I am really looking forward to fundamentally transforming this country into a bankrupt wasteland. And I could not have done it without my fellow Democraps. Thanks guys.

    October 6, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Richard Long

    How come Lew could not answer the simple question, "how many people have actually signed up for Obamacare"?

    October 6, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Evergreen

    The GOP are like little kids playing with matches. They don't fully understand the firestorm they are about to unleash.

    October 6, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. John S

    Some people keep saying Cruz is Canadian, he is not. His Cuban father and American mother were working in Canada when he was born. That doesn't make him Canadian, also they left when he was 3 or 4.

    October 6, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. B

    If the actions of Republicans were to lead to the crossing of the debt ceiling thus causing irreparable damage to the economy, Boehner might as well hand back over to Nancy Pelosi the same gavel that she presented him with when he became speaker of the house. All the gerrymandering in the world won't save his rear end because the GOP will have ticked everyone off.

    October 6, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Thomas

    @President Messiah Darky
    It is my way or nothing. I am really looking forward to fundamentally transforming this country into a bankrupt wasteland. And I could not have done it without my fellow Democraps. Thanks guys.


    Just when you think there might be some hope , a guy like you shows up .

    Were you Beaton as a child for acts of kindness ?

    October 6, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Thomas

    @ Richard Long
    How come Lew could not answer the simple question, "how many people have actually signed up for Obamacare"?

    Maybe because it's only been around week , Or maybe there is a government shutdown ?

    What do you think ?

    October 6, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Nothing is "unthinkable", when the government is totally out of control, fiscally.

    October 6, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Gurgyl

    GOP is totally dead. That's it.

    October 6, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. ED1

    They can't sign up for Obamacare because just like the bill it doesn't save anyone money and isn't going to work.

    This is just one of the problems we have with almost 50% of the people receiving Government aid they don't want it to stop and that includes the Democrats Government funded Americans equal more votes just that simple. The Democrats could give a rats butt about people that actually work for a living as long as they can control 50% of the people that don't work but rely on the Government for their source of income. That doesn't include the people that have retired, Veterans, and the poor most of is fraud and just plain down right lazy people who want everything for nothing.

    800,000 out Government workers laid off and Congress approves them back pay for the time they are out with our tax dollars for a free vacation doesn't that defeat the purpose of the lay offs.

    October 6, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. emskadittle

    well the tea ido its don't see lowing are credit rating and costing billions more in interest as a bad thing, they are just going to blame the larger debt on Obama

    October 6, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. rs

    The GOP has a problem or two:
    1. It promotes anti-democratic processes with anti-voter's rights bills, Gerrymandering and other laws that either are outright un-Constitutional, or at least unfair to the poor, and minorities.
    2. By taking the U.S. economy hostage over their hatred of a law that passed more than 3 years ago, and that the public is now signing up for and paying for is at least stupid, and at worst clearly an example of domestic terrorism ("Ditch the law or we kill the economy").
    3. As a party the GOP plants the seeds of doubt about the government. It started innocently enough with Reagan's refrain that the worst thing you can hear is "I am from the government and I'm here to help", to the TEA Party's rabid anti-government rhetoric, to now full-on sabotage.

    Really guys- if you hate the government, you have no clue what constitutes Constitutional law (i.e all the radical anti-abotion laws that get turned over, all the anti-civil rights and anti-voter's rights laws), why do you want a role in running this country? You aren't American in any sense, you are fomenting silly ideologies of the far-Right that will damage our nation for generations. You cannot even point to one single solitary legislative example on the part of the GOP. All they have done is cause political mayhem, and the complete dysfunction of the legislative process. Just a bunch of "dead end" kids who can't grow up.

    October 6, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Name

    And what about the weather? The damage its causing will drain us just as fast as a govmt shutdown and we have both right now

    October 6, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  20. GOP =Greed Over People

    Default factoid: A one percent increase in interest rates, will increase the annual amount we pay to cover current debt ONLY, by 120 billion.

    Go, GOP.

    October 7, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  21. tom l


    @ Richard Long
    How come Lew could not answer the simple question, "how many people have actually signed up for Obamacare"?

    Maybe because it's only been around week , Or maybe there is a government shutdown ?

    What do you think ?

    LOL. Maybe it's because of the govt shutdown. Yeah, that's the ticket! Ummm, ooooooorrrrrrr perhaps it's because the number of signups isn't high. Yes, it's early. However, the bottom line is how many sign up for this to be the success that all the liberals say it will be. It is classic that he wouldn't give the number. He knows the number. I'm surprised he didn't just say "What difference does it make?"

    October 7, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    How stupid is shutting down the government like this? Not only are we paying people to not to come to work we've also shutdown sources of revenue.for the government. Republicans like Rand Paul claim that we can continue to pay the interest on our debts. How? How can we pay the interest when we have furloughed the very people who collect the money in the first place? Republicans have been lying to their base.

    October 7, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. kirk

    So cutting my ss, that I've paid into for 30 years, that's the answer for the working class, the gop wants you to think the poor are taking your money, wake up, all the while selling you lies to promote more class warfare, hismuch money has to go straight to the 1%, before you are willing to push for change? The gop are paid puppets for the Koch brothers, that's all I will ever need to know, they are evil, evil men, cut aid to hungry kids, while donations from them are in the billions, sad place they have taken you,enjoy, and hope nothing ever happens to you that requires help, cause it won't be there

    October 7, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |