每日新闻更新 — 周而复始的美国债务上限问题 The Daily Update – US Debt Ceiling - As Regular As Clockwork

又到了就美国债务上限问题进行下一轮谈判的时候,这个问题已经成为周而复始的问题。2018年2月对美国债务上限的规定到今年3月份期满。这意味着一个无法履行职能的国会有了一项任务,那就是以某种方式做出妥协,以阻止当前的应急措施在秋季结束时出现潜在的技术违约。令这个局面变得复杂的是,国会正处于8月4日至9月6日的夏季休会期间,外加低于预期的收入已经将所谓的“落地就死”的数据从11月推到10月,而且最近已经推至9月初。事实上,那些低于预期的收入,加上公共支出的增加,使得第二季度的赤字几乎突破了1万亿美元,6月份缓解至9190亿美元。

目前,共和党人和民主党人之间的谈判已经加速。然而,虽然谈判加快了速度,但最终妥协仍然是一个难以实现的目标。美国财政部长史蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin)上周宣称,这笔旨在提高债务上限并为未来两个财政年度设定支出水平的谈判已经是“近在咫尺”。白宫一直努力把这两个问题分开,这样做的目的是,即便他们无法解决支出计划,最少也可以提高债务的最高限额。众议院议长南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)已表示,这两个问题不会分开。                                   

(美国历史上)第一次债务上限之争始于1953年,当时艾森豪威尔总统遭到了共和党控制的参议院的倒戈。艾森豪威尔希望获得更多资金来建设美国的公路系统,然而,国会对第二次世界大战期间美国债台高筑的程度感到震惊。经过多次的争吵和财政部采取的一些紧急措施之后,债务上限于1954年才得以上调。一旦达到上限,财政部就不能发行任何新债,但正如我们过去所看到的那样,这并不意味着美国政府就不能再为自己筹集资金了。通过各种手法和会计技巧,财政部能够继续通过所谓的“特殊措施”让支付得以完成。然而,当这些措施耗尽的时候,“技术性违约”的风险就会增加。最后,值得注意的是,自1959年以来,债务上限已经被这两个政党的政府提高了80多次。

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