US Debt Limit Now at $16.4 Trillion

WASHINGTON—The Senate voted to defeat a resolution that, if successful, would have held up an increase in the country's statutory borrowing limit. The vote triggers a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling on Friday.

The increase brings the total federal government borrowing limit to $16.4 trillion, enough to support Treasury borrowing until past the November elections, but likely not through the end of the year.

That could mean that after the elections, a lame-duck session of Congress would have to deal with another increase in the borrowing limit as well as the litany of other divisive issues that will need to be resolved including the question of whether to extend the Bush-era lower tax rates.

If you ever doubted that debt is related to the value of the dollar, have a look at this chart (courtesy sharelynx). The price of gold has historically tracked with our national debt.

Now: ask yourself what would happen if our debt became so unsustainable that we could no longer service it? The price of gold would skyrocket. That day is not far off.