As the U.S. creeps closer to hitting its legal borrowing limit, several congressional Republicans have begun to claim that failing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling would not be a bad thing for the economy. They continually say that the Treasury Department will be able prioritize payments from the tax revenue that comes in on a daily basis, despite repeated warnings from Treasury and budget experts that such a plan is untenable.
And it’s not only congressional Democrats and Treasury officials who have wearied of the Republicans’ games. In an interview with Bloomberg News, former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici (NM) expressed exasperation with the way the current crop of GOPers is handling the debt ceiling debate:
“The debt’s coming due, and they say it isn’t coming due,” Domenici said in a recent interview. “They’re wrong.”
He expressed frustration that his party may be willing to let the debt limit be ruptured. “Who do we get?” he asked. “Bring God down, Christ” to make the case against doing so? [...]
He said Republicans, particularly in the U.S. House, “have got to listen to another radio because it’s not the way they’re telling them.”
Domenici is part of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which released a report this week showing that Social Security could be one of the first casualties of the GOP’s debt ceiling intransigence.
And Domenici is not the only prominent Republican warning the Republicans against continued brinkmanship. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the Republican lawmakers threatening to not raise the debt ceiling are “playing a very dangerous game.” “In the short term, to play around with even talking about a default, even a so-called technical default on U.S. debt, I think is really highly problematic,” she said, adding that just by getting close to a default, “you’ve increased interest costs, you’ve increased Treasury’s borrowing costs and you’ve created a bigger deficit problem. So why even go there? Why even flirt with it? I just don’t understand it — it’s very harmful and will make the budget deficit worse.”