Yesterday was a big day for debt ceiling news, as both Geithner and Obama chimed in, warning the GOP that without a clean lift, that there would be economic calamity. Checks for all kinds of government programs (the FAA, Social Security, etc.) would not go ut under a debt ceiling breach, warned Geithner in a letter.
But the one thing that neither Geithner nor Obama did not say was that we’d necessarily default on the debt.
This is what would take a crisis into a historic crisis.
Unfortunately, in political reporting there’s a lot of sloppy language. People don’t have an agreed upon definition of default, but one is needed, since the difference between a debt default, and not making payments to a normal domestic supplier or program is profoundly different.
So there’s a word missing.
Default should mean not making a debt payment.
Government shutdown should mean something like 1995, where appropriations lapse.
It’d be nice if reporters and politicians had a new word to describe a massive non-payment of obligations, that didn’t quite reach a debt default, since there’s a chance that that could happen.
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