If a bondholder misses a payment for a day or two or three or four — what is more important is you are putting the government in a materially better position to better pay its bills going forward.To put it into context, it may simply be a hard-line negotiating position being taken by more Republicans as we approach Aug. 2, the date on which Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner estimates the U.S. will begin to default on some obligations unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling.
There could be all sorts of bad consequences for the economy if the ceiling isn't raised and default occurs -- Rep. John Boehner has said it would be irresponsible.
But the bottom line is that it is not in the GOP's best interests to have the economy improve. They did everything they could to stand in the way of stimulus programs and were repaid with electoral victory in 2010, so it's understandable why they might want to play chicken -- if they think they can avoid blame for what happens. And that's a big if.
In any event, Paul Ryan every day looks less like a white knight standing on principle and a lot more like the professional politician he is.
Think Progress has more.