The Republican Comfort With A US Default

Bruce Bartlett's latest survey of the crazier right:

Other prominent conservatives who have been favorable, even enthusiastic, about debt default include Murray Rothbard, Dan Pilla, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, and Christopher Whalen. In 1995, then House speaker Newt Gingrich publicly warned the Public Securities Association that he was prepared to default on the debt unless Bill Clinton acceded to Republican demands for budget cuts. “I don’t care what the price is,” Gingrich said.

Consequently, it is becoming increasingly common for the idea of default to be discussed as a realistic possibility even by responsible analysts. Last year, The Economist’s Greg Ip wrote an article in The Washington Post saying that financial markets were placing the risk of default at 6 percent over the next 10 years. “Default is unlikely,” he said. “But it is no longer unthinkable.”