Infographic: What Is the Debt Limit?

The debt limit, also known as the debt ceiling, is the maximum amount of money the U.S. Treasury can borrow. Increasing the debt limit allows the Treasury to borrow funds to pay for government obligations that have already been incurred as the result of laws and budgets approved by the President and Congress.

The debt limit was suspended on February 9, 2018, when the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was enacted; the suspension period lasts until March 1, 2019.

Why is understanding the debt limit important and what are the implications for our economy and our fiscal condition? The infographic below explains. For more details, see our previous analysis on the debt limit.

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What Is the Debt Limit?

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Mar 19, 2018

Why Fiscal Issues Matter in the 2018 Election

This election season is a critical opportunity for candidates to talk to voters about solutions to put us on a better path.


This series of infographics helps put some of today's most pressing fiscal debates in context.