VIDEO: The debt ceiling explained in under a minute

Chris Moody
July 26, 2011

Wondering why lawmakers are pushing so hard to raise the debt ceiling? Armed with just a white board, markers and years of expertise, former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin explains it all in less than a minute--and does it better than anyone you've heard before.

But he doesn't stop there. In another video, Holtz-Eakin shows that raising the debt limit is just half the equation. He points to a key underlying factor in the national debt explosion: Congress has voted to raise the debt limit every year for the past decade without implementing a single control over the spiraling level of debt.

Together, the videos make two simple points that may have been drowned out by noise in Washington coming from both parties: 1) The United States needs to raise the debt limit to pay off past expenses. 2) In doing so, Congress must implement controls on future spending. Getting Congress and the White House to agree on a way to accomplish this, however, is the tough part.

Meanwhile, if the former CBO economist up there is a bit too wonky for your taste, here's songwriter Remy Munasifi, who takes a slightly different approach: