Debt-ceiling crisis came with hefty bill for taxpayers, report finds

Bragin Alexey/Shutterstock.com

Last year’s debt-ceiling crisis has cost U.S. taxpayers at least $1.3 billion, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

On top of that total -- which resulted from an increase in the Treasury Department’s borrowing costs -- Treasury officials were sidetracked from their standard duties and forced to work overtime to determine how to avoid default, The Washington Post reported.

“These events diverted Treasury’s staff away from other important cash and debt management responsibilities, as well as staff development and program oversight activities,” GAO wrote. The auditors found that department employees worked 5,750 hours in preparation for default.

The full impact of the debacle has not yet been felt, the watchdog said, as increased borrowing costs will continue in coming years. Bloomberg has reported that Congress’ last-minute action also lowered consumer confidence and stymied job growth.

GAO auditors said Congress should learn from the 2011 crisis and use the next debt-ceiling debate to address the nation’s deeply rooted financial problems.

“[We] believe that Congress should consider ways to better link decisions about the debt limit with decisions about spending and revenue to avoid potential disruptions to the Treasury market and to help inform the fiscal policy debate in a timely way,” GAO wrote.

(Image via Bragin Alexey/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.