Politicians On Both Sides Think Default Is Somehow No Big Deal

Megan McArdle

Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

The other night, I went to a drinks event for journalists at the British Embassy.  Naturally, it was full of budget wonks who clustered around the bar, exuding pessimism the way gatherings of grandmothers exude hugs and Jean Nate.  Everyone quizzed everyone else about what they were hearing from their sources.  Turns out, everyone was hearing the same thing: Democrats do not want to touch anything that puts entitlements on the table.  Republicans will not move an inch on tax cuts.  The most terrifying takeaway: there are indeed Republicans, and maybe even some Democrats, who think that default is somehow no big deal.

I’m absolutely stonkered by this.  When I blog about strategic default by individuals, conservatives flood my comments with indignant outbursts, excoriating the sort of people who would rather pay private school tuition or an auto payment than their mortgage.  But many of these same people–or the politicians they elect–seem to think that it’s preferable to default on the obligations of the United States rather than raise taxes one penny.Read the rest of this post at The Atlantic.

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