In the summer of 2002, below-forecast tax receipts forced the Bush administration to ask Congress to raise the federal government's debt ceiling. Without the leeway to borrow more, the government would run out of cash. A June 10, 2002, memo to O'Neill outlines the "state of play" on the request to raise the debt ceiling, and prepares the secretary for a meeting with the President to discuss the issue. Only a year earlier, the government had been in surplus, but tax cuts, war, and a slowing economy had turned the surplus into deficit. In a draft memo to the President, O'Neill warned that the consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling "are too serious to comtemplate."