Paul Ryan Fine With Defaulting On Debt Payments “For A Day Or Two”

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to think that defaulting on the national debt is a big deal:

Holders of US government debt would be willing to miss payments “for a day or two or three or four” if it put the US in a stronger position to pay them later on, Rep. Paul Ryan told CNBC Tuesday.

“That’s what I’m hearing from most people,” said the Wisconsin Republican, chairman of the House Budget Committee. “What is more important is that you’re putting the government in a materially better position to be able to pay their bonds later on.”

Unless the government acts to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, the U.S. will be in default. Ryan, echoing House Majority Leader John Boehner, argued any deficit-reduction plan should include no tax increases and cutting spending by a dollar for every dollar the debt ceiling is raised.

Ryan doesn’t expect Congress to reach an agreement by the deadline.

“Look, I don’t think we’re going to solve 40 years of ideological differences between the two parties by August,” he said.

Andrew Pavelyev is flabbergasted:

Aren’t there any adults left in the Republican Party who could tell Paul Ryan that it is never acceptable for a chairman of the House Budget Committee to talk like this?  Such crazy talk from somebody in such position has the potential to plunge the country into a recession. Fortunately, the markets seemed not to take Rep. Ryan seriously. Next time we may not be so lucky.

To answer Pavelyev’s question, I’m not sure there are any adults left in either party, or at least not any that are willing to talk like adults to the American people. The debt limit will have to be raised, there’s simply no way around that. The idea that, instead of doing the responsible, rational thing, we can resolve 40 years (or more) of fiscal irresponsibility in six weeks, is simply insane.  As for how the markets are reacting so far, I have to believe that the bond markets are still holding out hope that a deal will be reached and catastrophe will be averted. They won’t keep believing that for long if Washington fails to act, though.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Economics and Business, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. TG Chicago says:

    There was once a time when Republicans talked about how the business community needed a consistent, predictable playing field in order to thrive. That was when Democrats wanted to make little changes like tax increases or environmental regulation.

    Now when it comes to defaulting on US debt, it’s time to get krazy! Let’s spook the markets, it’ll be fun!

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    The debt limit will have to be raised, there’s simply no way around that.

    LOL, there is always a way around that. To say that the debt limit must be raised because there are no other options is simply laughable.

  3. Patrick,

    What’s laughable is the entire idea of a “debt limit”

  4. Rick Almeida says:

    To say that the debt limit must be raised because there are no other options is simply laughable.

    Option A: Raise debt ceiling
    Option B: Sovereign default
    Option C: ?

  5. john personna says:

    Patrick, being stupid repeatedly is much worse than being stupid once or even twice.

    There is no sane alternative. This childish idea that we can simply clamp brakes on spending, arbitrarily, and downsize “government” in one fell swoop is just plain stupid. No, it’s beyond stupid.

    It’s a child’s idea, or 3rd pitcher politics. You know, when you and your friends are on your 3rd pitcher and coming up with the “really good” ideas.

  6. Herb says:

    To answer Pavelyev’s question, I’m not sure there are any adults left in either party, or at least not any that are willing to talk like adults to the American people.

    Not sure where this pox on both houses stuff is coming from. There’s only one party that considers defaulting on the debt an option. The other party has some adults that are willing to stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute.”

  7. john personna says:

    Not sure where this pox on both houses stuff is coming from.

    There is a “stupider party” right now, but the “less stupid” party is letting them lead, and founder.

    Neither party sees it in their interests to propose support a real deficit reduction plan.

  8. hey norm says:

    TG Chicago hits this right on the head. wheres the fear of uncertainty that repups have been pushing over and over again? hypocrites.