How much would it cost to balance the U.S. budget? : The Indicator from Planet Money The U.S. reached its debt ceiling last week, and some lawmakers say they won't raise it unless there are also cuts to balance the budget. The problem? That would mean 25% reductions everywhere.

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Want a balanced federal budget? It'll cost you.

Want a balanced federal budget? It'll cost you.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the news conference to discuss the ongoing negotiations between the House, Senate and White House over the national debt ceiling. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

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Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held the news conference to discuss the ongoing negotiations between the House, Senate and White House over the national debt ceiling. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The U.S. has officially reached its debt ceiling, meaning the country has reached the limit of its authorization to pay the government's bills. Without raising the debt ceiling, the U.S. risks degrading its credit rating, which could cause economic turmoil in the U.S. and around the world.

Some Republicans have said they won't support raising the debt ceiling unless it comes with spending cuts, with some calling for a fully balanced budget in ten years. The problem? Without raising taxes, that would require either a 25% cut across the board, or massive cuts in discretionary spending like housing, education and the military.

On today's show, we speak with Maya MacGuineas, of the policy nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the group that ran the numbers.

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