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A New Approach to the Public Debt Legislation Should Be Considered

FGMSD-79-58 Published: Sep 07, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 1979.
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Congress has attempted to control the size of the public debt over the last several years by authorizing only temporary debt increases which expired in a year or less. Based on statements in congressional documents, this method was considered advantageous because it allowed Congress to increase the debt limit and later change it as more accurate data on receipts, disbursements, and required borrowing became available. Congressional desire to control the public debt has merit. However, any advantages that may have been achieved by employing the temporary increase process are being offset by the costs and undesirable conditions that develop when extensions of the temporary increase are delayed.

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Federal fundsLegislative proceduresProgram managementPublic debtSecuritiesDebt ceilingTrust fundsBreach of contractBudget deficitInterest rates