"The sooner the better."
Tim Geithner with Bloomberg's Al Hunt on Friday.
There is no doubt the annual debt ceiling battle has become something of a circus sideshow, but it's also the only time the media, and the occasionally even citizens, pay attention to deficit and government spending issues. If the debt ceiling were eliminated, the opportunity for budget discussion would disappear.
Geithner warned at the end of October that Treasury would reach the current legal limit on the federal government's debt before end of the year. In August 2011, Congress agreed to lift the legal debt limit by $2.4 trillion, allowing the government to borrow up to $16.394 trillion. However, as of the close of business on Thursday, the Treasury had only $154.3 billion of that $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority left.
Last week, Harry Reid said the Senate would not hesitate to raise the ceiling to $19 trillion, even though in 2006, when the national debt was $8 trillion under Bush, Reid said it would be the worst thing we could do.