At what point does it become necessary to cut up the federal government’s credit cards? The U.S. debt hit a record $14 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. That means the country is only $300 billion away from the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling, the cap on how much the federal government can borrow. Lawmakers have said they plan to raise the cap, because Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner estimates the debt will reach the cap sometime between March 31 and May 16. Geithner has said he won’t let the U.S. default on the debt, but if the country’s borrowing hits the ceiling and lawmakers fail to raise it, the Treasury would be prohibited from borrowing more money, which would cause a default. A default would not only cripple the U.S. economy, but also hurt economies and markets worldwide.