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Opinion

What Washington's debt ceiling debacle cost taxpayers

Speaker of the House John Boehner discusses the

Speaker of the House John Boehner discusses the debt-ceiling situation with reporters in Washington. Credit: Getty Images, 2011

It was always clear that last summer’s brawl over raising the debt ceiling was a high stakes battle. But now the actual tab is in; it cost taxpayers $1.3 billion.

That’s what we paid to cover the additional costs of borrowing due to uncertainty in the Treasury market while Congress slugged it out, according to the Government Accountability Office. And that’s not the final tab. It doesn’t include the increased costs for Treasury securities that remained outstanding after fiscal 2011.

The debate over how much debt the federal government takes on is important. But the time to have that fight is when Congress is voting to spend money, not when the bills come due.

Pictured above: Speaker of the House John Boehner discusses the debt-ceiling situation with reporters in Washington (July 7, 2011).

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