US Debt Ceiling Crisis: Consequences for Economy and Social Welfare

James Hyerczyk
Updated: May 15, 2023, 13:30 UTC

US debt default risks recession, job losses, and global impact; Treasury Secretary warns of delays, credit downgrade; experts estimate fallout.

Debt Ceiling Worries


  • US debt default risk triggers recession and job losses.
  • Urgent need to raise debt limit to avoid default.
  • Consequences include housing market decline and social welfare interruptions.


The US economy is showing signs of slowing down, and concerns are growing about the potential impact of Washington’s actions on the global economy. Republican leaders are demanding unrelated spending cuts as a condition for allowing the US to pay its debts, which experts warn could trigger a severe recession, higher unemployment, increased borrowing costs, and risks to national security.

Urgent: Yellen Urges Raising Debt Limit

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urges Congress to raise the borrowing limit to avoid default. The US government is running out of money in the coming weeks. Yellen warns of default risk on payments, including Treasuries and Social Security. Such a default, which hasn’t occurred since 1789, would have negative implications for America’s credit rating.

US Treasury’s Extraordinary Measures Depleted

As of May 10, the US Treasury has only $88 billion of extraordinary measures remaining to cover government expenses, down from $110 billion a week earlier. This represents approximately a quarter of the initially authorized measures totaling $333 billion.

IMF Warns of Global Consequences

The International Monetary Fund has emphasized the serious consequences that could arise from this situation for the global economy. Meanwhile, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has taken precautions to prepare for the potential disaster and criticized Donald Trump for encouraging resistance to raising the debt limit, even if it leads to an economic crash. Dimon considers this stance to be potentially catastrophic, which aligns with the understanding of experts familiar with the situation.

Economic Repercussions: Recession, Job Losses

A default would have broad economic repercussions, leading to a recession that would affect the global economy and result in substantial job losses. Moody’s Analytics estimates that the US could lose as many as 7.4 million jobs if the default persists for months, with significant job losses in states like California, Texas, and Florida. The housing market would also suffer, with housing costs surging by 22% and existing home sales declining by 23% at the lowest point.

Impact on Americans: Default Consequences

The impact of a default would be felt by tens of millions of Americans. Social Security payments could be delayed. They are relied upon by retirees and disabled workers. It’s a significant portion of their income. Federal civilian workers, military members, and government contractors may experience paycheck delays, affecting their ability to compensate workers. Veterans’ benefits, food stamps, and unemployment benefits could also be interrupted.

Healthcare Payments Disruptions Jeopardize Providers

Disruptions in payments to healthcare providers through Medicare and Medicaid would harm smaller hospitals and doctors’ offices operating on slim profit margins. The consequences would extend to states, municipalities, and individuals, causing economic challenges and reducing confidence among consumers who would have less money to spend.

Economy at Risk: Debt Crisis

The US debt ceiling crisis poses significant risks to the economy, with potential repercussions that extend beyond national borders. It is crucial for Congress to raise the borrowing limit to avoid default and its disastrous consequences. A default would have far-reaching impact. It would affect job security and housing costs. It would also impact social welfare programs and the overall stability of the economy. Policymakers must prioritize a resolution. It should safeguard the nation’s financial well-being and its citizens.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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