Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) argued Wednesday that failing to raise the debt ceiling would not inflict economic disaster — he even said that the “managed catastrophe” of breaching the debt ceiling might be necessary.”
“The debt ceiling has never not been raised, so there is no debt ceiling,” Coburn said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“And by having a debt ceiling and then raising it every time, it allows the politicians off the hook for making the hard choices. I’d rather have a managed catastrophe now, which I don’t think will be there.”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that Congress needs to raise the nation’s $US16.7 trillion borrowing limit by Oct. 17 — next Thursday — at which point the Treasury would only have about $US30 billion cash on hand to meet all of its obligations. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the U.S. will run out of money to meet all of its obligations somewhere between Oct. 22 and Nov. 1, risking a potential default.
Coburn’s long-held stance is that the debt ceiling provides an opportunity for politicians to make “hard choices.” He also doesn’t think breaching the debt ceiling risks potential default. On Tuesday, he made a symbolic show of cutting up a credit card — which he analogized to the nation’s credit card — on the Senate floor.
“Here’s the thing that all the media does — default equals not raising the debt ceiling. That’s not true,” Coburn said on CNN. “… Those are two different and distinct things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay our bills. What I’m saying is we should put ourselves in the position where we have to start making hard choices now.”
Here’s the clip:
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