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Should the United States Congress Increase the Debt Ceiling?

47% yes
53% no

The United States government is constrained by a debt ceiling—first created in 1917 by Congress—which limits the amount of debt it can borrow to pay its obligations. Recently, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen notified Congress that government spending was on track to surpass the debt ceiling—which is currently set at over 31 trillion dollars—this summer. Congress and Americans have begun debating over whether the lawmakers should raise the debt ceiling or not. 

Those who argue that the United States should increase the debt ceiling contend that it must do so in order to pay its financial obligations. They say that if the country defaults on its payments, it could cause irreparable harm to its financial position. They argue that the economy would take a huge hit, and that the rest of the world would be less confident in the United States’ ability to uphold its financial commitments. 

Those who argue that the United States should not increase the debt ceiling contend that the national debt has grown into a huge threat to the country. They demand the country either reduce its spending or increase taxes in order to stay under the current debt ceiling. Some are willing to compromise and raise the debt ceiling, but they ask that in return a compromise is reached that would raise the debt ceiling while also making cuts to try to reduce the debt. 

So, what do you think? Should the United States Increase the Debt Ceiling? Students can answer Yes, it should; No, it should not; or a nuanced answer in between! Be sure to submit your answers by February 1st to be considered for this week’s contest. 

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:      

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner     
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers      
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors      
  • They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner      
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly   


For this question, BRI will be giving away two $25 gift cards, one to each person providing the best defense of each side of the debate. Both students will also win BRI swag. Each student winner will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize of a $1,000 cash scholarship. Additionally, the referring teachers for both students will each win a $25 gift card and BRI swag.

This question will run from 1/19/23 to 2/1/23, so be sure to submit your answers in time to be considered for our prizes!

(For rules/regulations click HERE)

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