Despite a consensus among economic experts, business leaders and Democrats that a debt default would be potentially catastrophic for the U.S. and global economy, an increasing number of Republicans are coming to believe default wouldn’t be so bad, reports the New York Times.
According to the Times, even ostensibly levelheaded Republicans, like North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, are telling themselves (and anyone who’ll listen) that the United States, in the event of a default, would be able to manage. “We always have enough money to pay our debt service,” Burr told the Times.
Others, like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, blame President Obama for what they see as attempts to frighten those in the financial markets. “It really is irresponsible of the president to try to scare the markets,” said Paul. “If you don’t raise your debt ceiling, all you’re saying is, ‘We’re going to be balancing our budget.’ So if you put it in those terms, all these scary terms of, ‘Oh my goodness, the world’s going to end’ — if we balance the budget, the world’s going to end? Why don’t we spend what comes in?”
Some Republicans even argue that a debt default would be welcomed by the marketplace. Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida recently claimed a default would “bring stability to the world markets.” While speaking to the Times, Yoho was equally sanguine about the fallout from default, comparing it to his previous career as a large-animal veterinarian. As the Times wryly puts it, Yoho argues that “the largest economy on earth should learn from his large-animal veterinary practice.”
“Everybody talks about how destabilizing doing this will be on the markets,” Yoho told the Times. “And you’ll see that initially, but heck, I’ve seen that in my business. When you go through that, and you address the problem and you address your creditors and say, ‘Listen, we’re going to pay you. We’re just not going to pay you today, but we’re going to pay you with interest, and we will pay everybody that’s due money’ — if you did that, the world would say America is finally addressing their problem.”