Steve Semeraro is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.
Polls show that many Americans want Congress to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. In taking that position, they likely assume that increased borrowing would enable the federal government to find new ways to spend money. After all, when we raise our own debt ceilings — by taking out a mortgage or getting a car loan — we get to buy a new house or a new car. But the federal debt ceiling doesn’t work that way.