by Max Brantley
Leaders at World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings on Sunday pleaded, warned and cajoled: the United States must raise its debt ceiling and reopen its government or risk “massive disruption the world over,” as Christine Lagarde, the fund’s managing director, put it.
The fiscal problems of the United States overshadowed the official agendas for the meetings, with representatives from dozens of countries — including two of Washington’s most important economic partners, Saudi Arabia and China — publicly expressing worries about what was happening on Capitol Hill and in the White House.
Rep. Tom Cotton says he’s prepared to walk away from our nation’s bills and default on our debt, but even more alarming is his irresponsible denial that doing so would have serious consequences for Arkansans, especially our seniors. Cotton’s willingness to default on our economy would trigger a lapse on Social Security and Medicare payments, which Arkansas seniors have earned over a lifetime of hard work.
According to mainstream economists, Cotton’s reckless plan to default on U.S. debt obligations would likely trigger a new recession, raising interest rates and adding billions to the nation’s debt. Just like his votes against the Farm Bill, disaster aid and affordable student loans, Cotton’s plan to “take the medicine” and ignore our nation’s bills would hurt Arkansas seniors, hardworking families and small businesses.