Financial expert discusses debt ceiling debate

ATLANTA — You’ve likely heard a lot about raising the debt ceiling and the debate among lawmakers in Washington.

You’re also hearing loaded language such as “catastrophic” to go along with finger-pointing.

To make sense of where we may be going and why we should be paying attention, Channel 2′s Justin Farmer talked with Ted Jenkin, the founder of Atlanta’s Oxygen Financial.

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“Since 1960 Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 times in just the last 63 years, so I have no reason to believe that they wouldn’t do it again. But, you know, we don’t have a debt ceiling problem, we have a budget problem and that’s really what this is about and why the two parties are divided right now,” Jenkin said. “One party thinks the way to solve the problem is to raise taxes, the other thinks it’s to decrease expenses. The truth is there’s probably some combination of both that will be able to fix this budget problem.

“Both parties have done the exact same thing and then contradicted themselves, correct?” Farmer asked.

“Yeah,” Jenkin answered. “I mean, if you’re thinking about this at home there’s two things to know. One is, if you max out all your credit cards - the way to solve the problem is to not take out another credit card. That’s just simple, basic finance. And a lot of families have one spender and one saver in the family and eventually, you have to meet in the middle because there’s a balance between spending and saving and that’s exactly what our government is going through right now.”


“Ted, how do you realistically see this playing out?” Farmer asked.

“It feels like a big game of chicken to me and I suspect this will go down to the wire and then I suspect they will raise the debt ceiling with some considerations with lowering the overall expenses in our budget,” Jenkin said.

Jenkin added that there are some short-term measures to continue to fund our government even if lawmakers were to continue to negotiate past a deadline.

The treasury and the military will continue to operate and government employees will be paid.

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