Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Monday accused the Obama administration and the Treasury Department of “scare-mongering” by warning of the potential catastrophic consequences of a default on the nation’s economy.
“The Treasury Department, I think the Secretary of the Treasury, I think the President of the United States ought to be trying to calm the markets, rather than scare them,” Johnson said in an interview with Salon. “The President really ought to be leading here. And they really ought to be passing something like the Full Faith and Credit act, or a no-default bill which would guarantee the prioritization of tax revenue coming in and spending to ensure that we don’t default. There is absolutely no reason at all for this type of government to default even if we don’t increase the debt ceiling. So I think it’s highly irresponsible of this Administration to be doing the type of scare-mongering they’re doing on this issue.”
Johnson added that breaching the debt ceiling on Oct. 17 would not lead to default “if the spending was properly prioritized.” He told Salon that there would be no reason to increase the borrowing limit if “we weren’t running deficits,” rejecting Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s argument that raising the debt ceiling isn’t about spending.
At least eight other Republicans have publicly expressed their belief that hitting the debt ceiling isn’t worrisome.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.