President Obama’s top economic advisor Austan Goolsbee warned against “playing chicken” with raising the country’s debt ceiling in an exclusive interview this morning on ABC News 'This Week.'
Goolsbee, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told me that failing to raise the debt ceiling would cause “a worse financial economic crisis than anything we saw in 2008.”
“This is not a game. The debt ceiling is not something to toy with,” Goolsbee said this morning. “If we hit the debt ceiling, that's … essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history. The impact on the economy would be catastrophic.”
Congress raised the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion last February, but the federal debt is now at $13.9 trillion. Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling again to avoid pushing the country into default.
Many new Tea Party conservatives coming to Congress have said they will vote against raising the debt limit this spring, saying government spending should be cut instead.
“I don't see why anybody's talking about playing chicken with the debt ceiling,” Goolsbee responded when asked about calls to not raise limit. “If we get to the point where you've damaged the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
-- Jake Tapper