An unusual feature of the American governmental budgeting process is that Congress has passed a law limiting the amount of debt that the United States can maintain. When there is deficit financing, the law limiting the debt has to be changed periodically as the nation approaches the debt limit. Partisan politicians often take advantage of the fact that the debt limit must be passed and hold the passage hostage to obtaining something they want. The reality is that when Congress passed the previous budgets, they determined what the debt would have to be later. So they have already voted to exceed the budget ceiling. But the requirement of doing it in a second forum allows more pressure to be placed on the administration and the other party’s Congress members. While this process is ongoing, many people in the world are worried and often terrorized by the prospect of the debt ceiling not being passed, in which case the United States would have to default on its obligations—not pay interest, contractors, retirements, salaries, etc. Hence the admonition that the debt ceiling should never be a part of the budget negotiating process by most responsible statesmen and women. But the mist partisan of the politicians want to play politics with the debt ceiling precisely because the stakes are so high and they can get both headlines and leverage.