I thought it might be helpful to explain the whole debt ceiling issue. The US government takes in a certain amount in taxes, and then pays out a much higher amount in spending. To pay for the difference, it takes out loans, AKA Treasury bonds, from investors and foreign countries. Like any loan, you have to pay interest, but our finances are so bad that we borrow even the money we need to pay the interest on the loans we already have! The problem we're having now is that there is a law which puts a cap on the total amount we can owe at once, and our debt is expected to hit it on August 2. At that point we can only spend as much as we take in, which is a tough thing to achieve overnight when we borrow 40 cents for every dollar we spend. So what do we cut? If we skip some interest payments, then lenders like China may start charging us higher interest rates, which could worsen our economic situation. Halting defense contractor payments or soldier pay would place an undue burden on our troops, and delaying Medicare payments would lead to doctors turning away seniors. But if we pay everything I listed, we'll have almost nothing for everything else. Say goodbye to border agents, federal housing, welfare, prison security, and all the other services of Uncle Sam. Finally, there's Social Security, which is kind of up in the air. Many people believe there is a vault of cash somewhere called the trust fund, but sadly that's not true. As payroll taxes come in, the government immediately spends the money on whatever it wants, and then just sticks Treasury bonds in the trust fund. In normal circumstances those bonds are sold on the open market to pay for benefits, but after we hit the debt ceiling we're not allowed to borrow any more money. So seniors may not get their checks on August 3. All in all, it's a terrible situation, so we should hope a deal is reached soon to raise the debt ceiling.