The US has only about $355 billion left before hitting its statutory $14.29 trillion debt ceiling, leaving Congress to debate whether to raise the limit or not. Some Congressmen contended the debt limit might require an increase as early as March, but others are seeking to tie debt ceiling increase to spending reductions. Should the US surpass the ceiling, it would precipitate a default that would likely impose a long-lasting tax on all Americans and American businesses that may slow an economic recovery. There were seven increases in the statutory debt ceiling from June 2002, when the limit was $6.4 trillion, to October 2008, when it was raised to $11.32 trillion. The largest increase in history was in February 2009, when it was raised by $1.9 trillion to the current $14.29 trillion limit.