The U.S. Is Not Going to Default. It’s Going to Stop Sending Checks.

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There’s an important distinction sometimes lost in the current debate over raising the debt ceiling. On Aug. 2 (or thereabouts), the U.S. government is not going to default on its credit obligations, not just yet anyway. If the borrowing limit isn’t increased, the Treasury Department is going to start taking some very unpleasant steps that everyone will regret in order to prevent a default. While the public may have mixed feelings about — and a tenuous understanding of —  raising the debt ceiling, there’s certainly no ambivalence about getting active duty troops their pay or receiving Social Security checks. Obama made this point in the abstract at Monday’s press conference, and he’s able to make it directly to “the folks at home” in this interview with CBS News, albeit with a big assist from the interviewer.