Why Trump wants the U.S. to default on debt

By | May 22, 2023

Dennis Aftergut writes:

Lest you have any doubt, the three exclamation points are Trump’s. You could be excused for thinking he wants a default. He loves chaos.

But he also has a purely self-serving reason to seek an economic catastrophe. You don’t need to be a stable genius to know that a bad economy typically hurts the incumbent in a presidential race. And Trump is desperate to get the immunity from prosecution that being elected president would provide him. He’s terrified of what’s coming from Special Counsel Jack Smith. So he’ll apparently nuke the world economy to protect himself.

His MAGA minions in the House of Representatives also understand that voters’ first instinct for an economic crisis is to blame the incumbent president. But just in case that point was missed by the few GOP representatives who still worry a bit about what’s best for the country, Trump’s Truth Social post on Friday was sending them a message. He might as well have written, I’ll come after you if you vote to raise the debt ceiling.

The dynamics of the House Republican Conference—with a small number of the most Trumpy members able to disrupt or end McCarthy’s speakership—make it difficult for McCarthy to give an inch in negotiations, especially now with Trump himself piping in. Which means that the risk that no agreement will be reached is very real. The American people would be nothing but collateral damage to Trump. [Continue reading…]