Carl '60 Cent' Kasell And The Debt Ceiling

Listen to the Song

Carl "60 Cent" Kasell brings the pain as he explains the debt ceiling.

hide captionCarl "60 Cent" Kasell brings the pain as he explains the debt ceiling.

Illustration by Nelson Hsu

Confused by all the details about the debt ceiling?

NPR's legendary newscaster Carl "60 Cent" Kasell explains everything ... in a RAP! (Be gentle people, this was a rush job.)

We've included the lyrics so that you can sing along:

Here's a little lesson,

Sit back for just a bit

Here's how we make a dollar out of 60 cents

It started years ago,

In 1917

Congress set a limit

On the U.S. Treasury

It capped what they could borrow

Put a "ceiling" on the debt

After that first ceiling

It continued to be set

Congress — both chambers

The Senate and the House

They've raised it 12 times,

Since '95, no doubt

But a few months ago,

The ceiling got stuck,

Some members of Congress said,

"It's gone WAY up!"

So they said "hold up!"

We're spending too much!

A buck for every 60 cents

We've GOT to cut!

Weeks went by,

What to cut, how soon?

Should we raise taxes?

No one knew what to do.

The credit rating agencies

Weren't feeling it at all

If we couldn't get a deal

Our rating would fall.

Then a plan came together

On Sunday night

A commission from Congress

To set things right

The fight may be over

The ceiling could be raised

Can we get back to business?

Are we out of this maze?

Background vocals by "Change" (Tanya Ballard Brown and Priska Neely); lyricists Marilyn Geewax, Serri Graslie and Sam Sanders. Special thanks to Art Silverman.

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