How would you react if your bank gave you an open-ended credit limit - and assured you that within a year or so, no matter how much you had borrowed in the interim, it would be increased?
Banks don't do that because their executives are well aware of what would happen.
But Congress does.
President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure passed by both houses of Congress last week, to increase the national debt limit. Already, we Americans are $17.3 trillion in debt - about $50,500 for every man, woman and child in the country. About $6.6 trillion of that has been run up during Obama's presidency, by the way.
Congress could have set a new debt limit by specifying a dollar amount, as your credit card company does. Instead, however, lawmakers approved a bill stating, in effect, that the government can borrow as much as it wants until March 16, 2015. Sometime before then, a new date, farther into the future, will be set.
No wonder we're drowning in a sea of debt. Congress and presidents, both Democratic and Republican, keep handing themselves blank checks.