Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Default hysteria continues in Washington, in defiance of the most basic facts of arithmetic. Some Republicans have even been taken in, but one who is having none of it is Congressman David Schweikert of Arizona, the former treasurer of Maricopa County:“You and I can find ways the game-playing has been done,” said Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, the former treasurer of Maricopa County. “You don’t get to have those debates and discussions if you have the administration able to game-play with the trust funds.”Another reporter asked Schweikert to respond to some doom-saying quotes from Chinese bankers. “I lay this at the steps of the administration and Jack Lew,” said the congressman. “The unconscionable, unacceptable use of language, the word ‘default,’ when the borrowing we need for 2014 is we’re 16 percent short on revenue. To use the word ‘default,’ to scare the markets—are politics really that important to this administration that it ignores basic math?”Schweikert ticked off ways that he, as a county treasurer, had sought balance. “The basic repo desk, running your ladders on your debt—it’s stunning that the politicians in the administration care more about keeping this as a wedge than the international markets. Even Geithner made it clear that he had the ability to prioritize…. [T]here is no such thing as default unless there is an actual evil attempt from the administration. When you have 18 percent of GDP coming in in cash, less than 2 percent going out in debt coverage—I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press. None of you were math majors, were you?”
Forgive me if I have not written about default before, but I can't help but notice that when the Obama administration uses the term "default" it loses its meaning. Default is not paying the interest on your debt. It doesn't mean that you can't go out for your usual Friday night dinner at a fancy restaurant. But that's how Team Obama defines it.