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Debt ceiling fix needs to include plan for austerity

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The U.S. government surpassed its $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, and the Treasury Department began taking steps to deal with the problem, including suspending planned transfers into public pension plans.

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Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter Monday to congressional leaders, saying unless the Congress acts by Aug. 2 to increase the debt ceiling, the government will default on its debts, something it has never done in recent history.

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