Definition The debt ceiling is a limit imposed by Congress on how much debt the US can carry at any given time. It’s like a limit imposed by your credit card company. The only difference is that the government can keep spending above the limit. However, it just can’t pay the bills its incurred by issuing new debt. It’s like a credit card that allows you to spend above your limit, but just won’t pay the bills that come in above the limit. http://useconomy.about.com/od/glossary/g/National-Debt-Ceiling.htm
Quote “John Adams once said that ‘ours is a government of laws and not of men’ but we can’t forget that it is men who make the laws. It is men who have to develop the processes that become the rule of law and ultimately are the channel to determine the will of the people.” – Isidore Starr, known as the father of law-related education http://worldjusticeproject.org/blog/interview-dr-isidore-starr-father-law-related-education
Articles “House Vote Canceled as Deadline Nears” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/us/politics/congress-budget-debate.html?src=se&_r=0
“House to vote tonight on plan to reopen government” http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gop-lawmakers-to-meet-in-house-senate-details-of-senate-plan-beingfinalized/2013/10/15/ab65e082-358f-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html
“House GOP to move own bill on debt and shutdown” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/15/house-republicans-boehner/2986085/
“Senate nears shutdown endgame while House support remains in question” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/10/senate-nears-shutdown-endgame-while-house-support-remainsin-question.html
“First thoughts: Can Boehner sell the emerging deal in the House?” http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/15/20973465-first-thoughts-can-boehner-sell-the-emerging-deal-inthe-house
“Senate women lead in effort to find accord” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/us/senate-women-lead-in-effort-to-find-accord.html?src=se&_r=2&
Questions to Consider • What is a debt limit? Why do we have a debt limit? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24365018 • What is a conference committee? http://uspolitics.about.com/od/thecongress/a/conference/htm • Are we, as citizens of the United States, allowed to “get tired” of the budget and debt ceiling debate? Why yes? Why no? • How do we let our representatives know that we want them to work together? • Do we need winners and losers in the economic debate? • What information do we need to make good judgments about the economic shutdown? • What does it mean to be “anti-government”? • Is this crisis about the size of government, about the amount of the national debt, about avoiding a default, about the economic health of the United States, about a power struggle between the Republicans and Democrats, about a power struggle between the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans, about a power struggle between the Majority and Minority leaders of the US Senate, about the power struggle between the President and the Congress, about unwillingness to compromise? • What is the role of government in a democracy? • Would a short-term budget/debt ceiling agreement be a step forward? What might the danger be of an agreement that is limited in time? What would be the benefits of a time limited agreement? • Is the press “over-reporting” the debt issues? Is the press yelling, “The sky is falling”? Is it falling? • How does the stock market in the United States respond to the debt crisis? How does the debt crisis cause the US stock market to fluctuate? • Why are the leaders of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund concerned about the US fiscal crisis? How do national issues become global issues? • How will history write up this economic dispute? • How does language promote or inhibit the solutions to the economic crisis? • What difference did the women of the Senate make in the budget negotiations? How were they able to communicate and compromise? • How might the financial crisis provide hints about the 2014 Congressional election and the 2016 Presidential election?
THE EXTRAS Pre-teaching, Extensions & Further Reading •
“Women Senators: ‘We’d have solved ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis by now
“A government shutdown exit strategy”
“Bill Richardson: I’ve made deals with dictators. Here’s my advice for Congress.”
“Exchange program gives Russians a glimpse of a democracy hardly at work”
“The US Debt Ceiling Explained Like You’re Five”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/12/13/women-senators-wed-have-solvedfiscal-cliff-crisis-by-now/ http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/10/a_government_shutdown_exit_str.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/bill-richardson-ive-made-deals-with-dictators-heres-my-advice-forcongress/2013/10/11/3a0271b6-31df-11e3-89ae-16e186e117d8_story.html http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-10-11/politics/42924754_1_government-shutdown-americandemocracy-russians http://hereisthecity.com/2011/08/01/the-us-debt-ceiling-explained-like-youre-five/
What’s the connection? Constitution • Article 1, Section 7: Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto • “For President Obama, winning a short-term debt battle is not enough”
“Would the US Be Better off with a Parliament?” http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/10/12/232270289/would-the-u-s-be-better-off-with-aparliament
Students • “Schools Fear Shutdown’s Threat to Lunch Programs http://www.nytimes.com/news/fiscalcrisis/2013/10/11/schools-fear-shutdowns-threat-to-lunch-programs/
Oregon • “Greg Walden says House GOP may not be hurt by government shutdown”
Oregon State Social Science Standards/CCSS 8.17. Examine the development activities of political parties and interest groups and their affect on events, issues, and ideas. 8.26. Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective. HS.27. Examine functions and process of United States government. HS.30. Analyze the roles and activities of political parties, interest groups, mass media and how they affect the beliefs and behaviors of local, state, and national constituencies. HS.33. Explain the role of government in various current events. HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives. 6-8.RH.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions. 6-8.RH.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. 9-10.RH.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text. 11-12.RH.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
NEW! We the People Lesson Connections Middle School, Level 2 • Unit 4, Lesson 22: How does the US Supreme Court determine the meaning of the words in the Constitution? • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship? High School, Level 3 • Unit 3, Lesson 16: What is the Role of Political Parties in the Constitutional System? • Unit 4, Lesson 21: What is the Role of Congress in American Constitutional Democracy? • Unit 4, Lesson 23: What is the Role of the President in the American Constitutional System? • Unit 6, Lesson 37: What Key Challenges does the United States Face in the Future?
SUSIE & TYLER’S CURRENT EVENTS October 15, 2013 THE BASICS Topic Debt Crisis: What happens next?