How Does Debt Ceiling Affect You

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 10/11/2013 6:37 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

The government's been shut down for more than a week, and a new crisis looms next week. 

Without action, next Thursday the United States government would default on its debt.

If the government defaults, the consequences would affect almost everybody.

The uncertainty hurts businesses like Green's Toyota.

"It makes certain people that have investments, have money saved up, little less likely to spend that money," said Josh McFarland, Green's Toyota Sales Manager.

Raising the debt ceiling does not allow the government to spend any new money.

If congress raises the debt ceiling, then it's allowing the government to pay for what congress already told the government to spend.

"The debt ceiling serves absolutely no role other than causing artificial crises periodically," said Ken Troske, Associate Dean at UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Troske says if we default, it would put a squeeze on the economy.

"We would never get the recovery that we're actually still waiting for," said Troske.

Troske says if we default it would be much more difficult to get a mortgage and a loan, and interest rates would rise, which would make things very difficult for businesses like a car dealership.

McFarland estimates more than 60% of their customers pay with a loan.

"They expect if they got good credit to be able to buy whatever they want, when they want it," said McFarland.

Troske says retirement plans would be affected by a default. 

Also, Troske says the government would have to divert a lot more money towards paying off its debt, which would take away from all other programs.
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