Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

October 14, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: Hoosier Republican members on a potential default

Todd Rokita was open to one in 2011

(Continued)

“We have an opportunity to work together and finally tackle long-term issues such as tax reform,” Young said in May. “Let’s take default off the table and work on real issues.”

Speaker John Boehner has shifted on the issue publicly. “What the president said today was if there’s unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk,” Boehner said after Obama’s Tuesday press concurrence. But Capitol Hill sources have told me, “Every time Boehner speaks to the conference, he says we’re not going into default.” On Thursday, the Associated Press reported Boehner would seek a short-term debt ceiling increase.

Sen. Dan Coats was critical of President Obama’s unwillingness to come to the table. “Refusing to negotiate on a plan to address our nation’s $17 trillion debt would be a complete failure of this administration and a disservice to the American people,” Coats said.

Stutzman, who gained notoriety by telling the Washington Examiner his wing of the party didn’t want to be “disrespected” but had no clue to an end game in this standoff, said on Tuesday, “Because Washington’s spending addiction has put this country $17 trillion in debt, any debt ceiling conversations must include a serious, long-term strategy to reduce our national debt. Given the harm a default would have on families, businesses and financial markets, Washington must avoid default and tackle the issue of deficit spending.”

Reps. Bucshon, Walorski, Messer and Brooks also lined up against a default, but blasted Obama and Democrats for not negotiating.

On Tuesday, Obama reiterated he would not “negotiate” under the threat of a default, which he described as “insane” and “irresponsible.”

Throughout the week, there was speculation in some GOP quarters a default wouldn’t really be that bad.

Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn, who works in insurance and financial services, wrote in his column for Howey Politics Indiana of a default: “Money Markets may become grossly disrupted. We saw this situation in September of 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. There is a very complex and sophisticated system of securities purchase and settlement that is supremely dependent on trust and confidence between the parties to a transaction. A breakdown of that confidence could dry up credit and virtually freeze our economy. This alone could move us from recession to depression overnight. We saved ourselves last time. Could we be lucky again?”

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