by Marian Wang
ProPublica, May 17, 2011, 10:08 a.m.
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As you may have heard, the federal government hit its $14.3 trillion debt limit yesterday—something the Treasury has been warning Congress about for months. There are a lot of good explainers  out there about what this could mean. Some dig into what actions the Treasury might take ; others into the oh-so-exciting history of the debt limit .
We’ve waded through them and pulled what we found to be the clearest explanations not only of what the debt ceiling is  and how it works, but also the fundamentals of whether it’s necessary and why this debate may be more partisan than it is practical.