Treasury default requires reprogramming

In case anyone thinks spending is operationally revenue constrained. Unless they reprogram the computers, the Treasury will routinely make all payments on a timely basis. And those payments create ‘real dollars’ in private bank accounts that can be spent regardless of tax revenues, and without borrowing from the likes of China.

And tonight’s speeches seemed to me confirmation of a power move by the Speaker of the House. He announced that on Wed the house will pass a modified bill that the Senate will also pass and send to the President’s desk for signature. If he succeeds, he will emerge as the leader who, from now on, will be the one to organize and have bills introduced and passed by both Houses. And on the odd chance that the economy improves, he’s positioned himself to be the Republican candidate for President.

“Steve McMillin, a former deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under Bush, said Treasury has options but most of them are “pretty ugly.”

If Treasury were to decide to delay payments, it would need to re-program government computers that generate automatic payments as they fall due — a massive and difficult undertaking. Treasury makes about 3 million payments each day.”

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