It is stunning…downright stunning…that Sarah Palin and other teabaggers are playing a most dangerous game with the financial good faith and credit of the United States. Teabaggers seem to welcome the dire consequences of not increasing the debt ceiling. Teabaggers seem to gleefully wish for a financial panic so to then resort to some draconian policies that they see as a means to an end. Hating government to such an extent that one would undermine it, by not increasing the debt ceiling, seems to me a real form of terrorism.
It is shameful and disgusting.
Today, again, in very real terms Treasury Secretary Geithner laid out the consequences of not acting responsibly.
The debt ceiling must be raised.
Mr. GREGORY: Sarah Palin gave an interview to Newsweek, and she says,
“Look, this debt limit business, this is not the apocalypse here.”
I’m asking you, specific consequences to the United States of getting to August
2 without raising the debt limit.
SEC’Y GEITHNER: Let me make this clear, David. The United States is not
going to default. We are a country that pays its bills. We’re going to meet our
obligations. And the leadership in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, House
and Senate, understand that. Speaker Boehner, to his credit, said from the
beginning we are not going to default as a country because he understands it
would be catastrophic for the American economy. So let me explain what happens.
The longer we go into July, the more risk there will be in financial markets,
more concern the risk that America cannot get its act together to figure out
how to solve this problem. And you’ll see that reflected in higher interest
rates and more concerned loss of confidence. And let me explain what happens on
August 2. On August 2, at that point we run out of the ability to borrow to
meet our obligations. Remember, we spend–we have to borrow now 40 cents for
every dollar we spend.
Now, on August 2, if Congress hasn’t acted, we’re left with the cash we
have and the cash we’re going to take in. And every week starting the week of
August 2, we have to go out and finance roughly $100 billion in maturing
obligations of the government. We make 80 million checks a month to Americans,
55 million people on Social Security benefits, millions more Americans on
veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, people who supply our troops in combat.
Eighty million checks a month. So on August 2, we’re left with the cash on hand
and the cash we take in. And we have to convince people to come and refinance
$500 billion in maturing principal payments that come due in August.
MR. GREGORY: Does that affect our credit rating potentially?
SEC’Y GEITHNER: Absolutely. And for that reason the credit rating agencies around the world have said if Congress doesn’t act by the 2nd they will put our–they will downgrade our credit, first time in history, and if that happens, you’re going
to see catastrophic damage across the American economy and across the global
economy. It’s not something we–failure is not an option and the leaders to
their credit–the leaders to their credit understand this.