If you believe Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the U.S. is headed to “an economic and financial catastrophe” if Congress doesn’t agree to increase the federal debt ceiling.
Even worse, she warned in an interview with ABC News, we are headed to a “constitutional crisis.”
You know something is purely political and not to be taken too seriously when a prominent official in Washington warns that something is a “constitutional crisis,” as if that is the absolute worst thing that can possibly happen, short of war or some other real calamity.
According to Yellen, doomsday will occur around June 1, at which time the government will purportedly be unable to pay its bills, unless the Republicans in the House knuckle under and agree to increase the debt limit.
For good measure, she wrote in a letter to Congress that “we have learned from past debt limit impasses that waiting until the last minute to suspend or increase the debt limit can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States.”
All of which has never happened.
When the government “defaulted” back in 2011 I seem to remember that the biggest imposition was that the national parks were closed for a few days. Anyone who was owed money, such as federal employees who had their paychecks delayed, soon got all the money that was coming to them.
Yes, Standard & Poor’s lowered the U.S. government’s credit rating to AA-plus from triple A - where it still stands - but did anyone really care? (Moody’s, Fitch and DBRS all still rate the government’s credit rating at triple-A).
If you were wondering, other countries with AA-plus ratings from S&P include Austria, Finland, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, among others, sport AAA ratings. With all due respect to those countries, does anyone seriously believe that you run a greater a risk lending money to Uncle Sam than you do to those nations? Continue reading "Countdown To Catastrophe"