Originally Posted by cosmo20002
Wrong. Why do you think the US credit rating got dinged? Because for the first time ever, there became a question about whether or not the US would pay its bills.
Look who's in the WH. I'd question it too.
He's right though. The debt ceiling is about increasing debt, not paying it off. It's up to the WH, with some constraints built into the law by Congress, to pay debt before they do things like pay their own salaries. Furthermore, they can pay back external debt before they pay the SS "trust fund". Of course, these things would be politically hard to do, but that's a different story.