City Comptroller John Liu sent out a “Debt Ceiling Advisory” this afternoon in advance of the possibility that Congress is unable to come to a resolution in the next four days to lift the federal debt ceiling.
“As inconceivable as it seems, Washington appears stuck in a quagmire just days from the hard deadline for a debt ceiling resolution,” Liu said. “The irresponsibility and ineptitude being demonstrated in our nation’s capital could cause profound damage to our city, first and foremost with more than one million seniors and disabled New Yorkers being cut off from their primary source of income.”
Liu called for the creation of an emergency Debt Ceiling Task Force which would be comprised of representatives from his office, from the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, and the City Council.
Liu also created a scorecard of sorts to see who would be most affected by the crisis.
By his accounting, failure to raise the debt limit would hurt seniors most of all, since Social Security checks wouldn’t go out, and would only have a “medium” impact on Medicaid, Medicare, and public service providers, the bond market, and the city’s pension fund.
Failure to raise the debt ceiling would have only a “low” impact by his account on the city’s cash position.
“Because of the City’s financial strength, our cash position is such that it will be able to sustain the delay of federal and state aid receipts. The City currently has $6.9 billion in cash on hand and is expected to continue to meet its normal obligations, including payroll, vendor payments and interest payments on outstanding debt,” his office writes.