How a national debt default could affect Nebraskans

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — In 10 days, the U.S. could find itself without enough funds to pay its bills.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Treasury pushed back the deadline for the debt default from June 1 to June 5.

Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said Republicans and Democrats may be getting closer to a deal to raise the debt ceiling. 

“I think we’re close, I anticipate being called back on Tuesday or Wednesday,” Bacon said.

But as of now, nothing is set in stone. 

As debate continues, there’s growing concern about the potential consequences a debt crisis could have on your personal finances.

An economic expert said you should build an emergency fund.

“This is the time to harbor your resources, hold back on your discretionary spending, avoid that extra restaurant meal,” said David Wilcox with Bloomberg Economics. 

But a Nebraska economist said you shouldn’t worry too much.

“When you panic, you lose. This is no time to panic,” Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton, said. “The federal government has the ability long term to pay its bills, pay its debt.”

Goss said the U.S. will not default.

“By that I mean, the U.S. will continue to pay bonds that mature,” he said.  

But there could be some delays in payments.  

“Probably Social Security payments would be delayed, so individuals that receive social security need to be prepared for those delays,” Goss said.

Payments to veterans, Medicare and Medicaid could also be affected by the default.

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