Treasury Secretary Jack Lew moved the country’s debt limit deadline to November 3. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by that day, America will default on its debts.

Lew wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, asking that Congress increase the debt limit or else the country will have difficulty repaying its debts. “In the absence of congressional action, the Treasury would be unable to satisfy all of these obligations for the first time in the history of the United States,” wrote Lew.

If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the country will have less than $30 billion to meet the country’s financial commitments. “Operating the United States government with no borrowing authority, and with only the cash on hand on a given day, would be profoundly irresponsible,” Lew added.

In a tally of all the programs for which the United States government is responsible, it makes 80 million payments through different social programs: Social Security, Medicaid, Medicaid, and government employee salaries. A default would have devastating effects. The GOP better act fast.

For more on this story, visit CBS NewsTreasury Secretary moves up debt limit deadline, pressures Congress to act”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced