Countries never default because they can’t pay their debts; there are always ways to decrease expenditures or raise taxes. Countries default because their political processes bring them to the point where the people in power decide, for whatever reason, not to pay the government’s debts. It is not difficult to identify who would bear what costs if the US did not pay – or if it disrupted markets by not increasing its debt ceiling. Everyone who borrows or interacts with the credit system in any way would suffer a shock that would make the crisis of 2008 look small.
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