Will the US issue debt exceeding the debt ceiling in 2023? (e.g. by the 14th Amendment or "least illegal" principle)
Jan 1

Resolves YES if in 2023, the US issues debt exceeding the statutory debt ceiling, otherwise NO. (I.e. if US debt ever exceeds the then-current statutory limits, that's a YES.)


The US is facing a debt ceiling crisis, and if no action is taken could default on its obligations (which is illegal). Faced between a choice between illegally defaulting on obligations that were already mandated by Congress, and illegally issuing more debt, it is possible that the US could choose the latter as the "least illegal" option. However, it is likely that such a debt issuance would be challenged in the courts and therefore market rates for the debt would be much higher than normal.

Another possibility is invoking the 14th Amendment, which states “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.” According to Vox, "Some legal scholars have argued that this clause renders the debt ceiling unconstitutional" although there is not a legal consensus.

In either of those scenarios, the US would be exceeding the statutory debt limit, and this market would resolve YES.

(The constitutionality of the statutory debt limit will not matter for this market's resolution. If the US exceeds it, that is a YES resolution, even if it is later struck down in the courts.)

Other workarounds involve avoiding the debt limit (e.g. minting the coin, issuing premium bonds) and those would not qualify for a YES resolution. In particular, issuing debt via "special purpose entities" which are not subject to the debt limit would not qualify for YES resolution. This market only resolves YES if the US exceeds the statutory debt limit.

If it is discovered in 2023 that the US accidentally issued debt exceeding the statutory debt limit, that would also resolve YES.

If the debt ceiling is raised and the US government issues debt above the old limit but below the new limit, that does not count as YES

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belikewater avatar
belikewaterbought Ṁ50 of YES

I made a relatively small bet on "yes" because I think it's possible that this question could resolve to yes. I think it's most likely that it won't, but I'm hedging my bets.

jack avatar
Jackpredicts NO


President Biden on Tuesday said he has been looking at the 14th Amendment as a way to unilaterally work around the debt ceiling, though he acknowledged it will not be a viable short-term solution with the nation on track to default without congressional action by June."

“But the problem is it would have to be litigated,” Biden continued. “And in the meantime, without an extension, it would still end up in the same place.”


The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) filed a lawsuit to block enforcement of a law that sets the nation’s debt limit, arguing it is unconstitutional as a political divide over raising the borrowing cap comes to a head.

jack avatar
Jackpredicts NO


President Joe Biden said on Friday he was not yet ready to invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid the United States defaulting on its debts as early as June 1, comments which for the first time suggested he has not ruled out the option.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randall

If the debt ceiling is suspended such that the US may issue debt in excess of the ceiling for some period of time, does that resolve this market YES?

jack avatar
Jackpredicts NO

@MartinRandall if it's suspended by statute, i.e. by Congress, that is a NO.

If it's suspended by executive or judicial authority, that would be a YES.

jack avatar
Jackpredicts NO

@jack specifically, if the amount of debt remains in compliance with statue, that is a no. If it every is out of compliance with statute, that's a yes.

jack avatar
Jackpredicts NO

@jack Ever*