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The Debt Ceiling Debacle of 2011 Cost Taxpayers $18.9 Billion

We all remember the debt ceiling debacle of 2011. That’s when the Republican Party decided they weren’t sure whether or not your government should pay it’s bills. We’re not talking new spending here; the debt ceiling is about paying for what we already authorized to buy and pay for.
But what you may not know is that the GOP’s stunt cost the country $18.9 billion.
Why? The markets were fearful that the United States of America might actually default on our debt. The world was afraid the United States might be a deadbeat. The world was afraid we might leave our creditors holding onto a mound of unpaid debt.
The result? The stock market dropped 2,700 points. Unemployment went up. Standard & Poor’s dropped the nations credit rating from AAA (Outstanding) to AA (Excellent) AND the interest rate on our borrowing went up — costing us $18.9 billion.
Now $18.9 billion is a lot of money. It could have been used to pay down our debt. It could have been used to pay for Meals on Wheels for Seniors or Pharmaceuticals for Seniors. It could have been used to pay for better schools for our grandchildren. There are a wealth of things that $18.9 billion could have been better spent on than a higher interest rate caused by a GOP inflicted higher interest rate.
As we listen to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, once again threaten to use the debt ceiling as leverage to cut Medicare and Social Security — let’s not forget how much the Republicans cost us the last time around.
Tell your Congressperson — raise the debt ceiling.

About Georgeana Mimms

Georgeana Mimms was a researcher at the Social Policy Lab of the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California, Deputy Director of the Asociation Pro Personas Mayores and a Special Consultant to the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging.