Senator Pat Toomey on the Debt Ceiling and Default

By PA Senator Pat Toomey at Real Clear Politics:

As we have been approaching the $14.3 trillion statutory limit to federal borrowing, I and many of my colleagues have insisted on real spending reforms now as part of any agreement to allow still more government borrowing. Unfortunately, the administration has insisted instead that we should simply raise the debt limit unconditionally.

Most disturbingly, this administration has resorted to repeatedly mischaracterizing and exaggerating the consequences of a delay in raising the debt limit. Apparently, they hope to intimidate Republicans into capitulating to their wishes to continue unconstrained deficit spending. This is a dangerously irresponsible tactic. It needs to end.

On last Sunday morning’s talk shows, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner once again implied that, if the debt limit is not promptly raised, the United States will default on its debt and the resulting catastrophe will be the fault of congressional Republicans.

But Secretary Geithner knows that congressional delay in raising the debt limit will in no way cause a default on our national debt. If Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the federal government will still have more than enough money to fully service our debt. Next year, about 7 percent of all projected federal government expenditures will go to interest on our debt. Tax revenue is projected to cover at least 70 percent of all government expenditures. So, under any circumstances, there will be plenty of money to pay our creditors.

Read the the rest here.

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