Why the US has a debt ceiling : The Indicator from Planet Money The debt ceiling approaches. A congressional standoff ensues. It wasn't always this way. So where did the debt ceiling come from? And how do other countries control their debt?

This episode originally came out in October 2021.

Simon says we're stuck with the debt ceiling (Encore)

Simon says we're stuck with the debt ceiling (Encore)

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The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on January 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.
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This episode originally came out in October 2021.

Showdowns over the debt ceiling are like football — both are quintessentially American games.

It wasn't always this way, says Simon Rabinovitch of The Economist. The debt limit was originally supposed to make it easier for the government to spend money. Today on the show, we go from the original debt ceiling to "debt brakes" and "debt anchors."

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