President Donald Trump’s deal with minority leaders in the House and Senate to raise the debt ceiling will give major leverage to congressional Democrats when budget negotiations resume in the fall, writes David Thomson ’08 in The Washington Post. Thomson, assistant professor of history at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, said the deal strengthens the Democratic Party’s hand in its efforts to help the US avoid defaulting on its debt.
Some Republican lawmakers are only prepared to support raising the debt ceiling if they can extract major concessions, said Thomson, and “argue that the dire picture painted by experts about the consequences of defaulting are overblown.”
But, as the next debt ceiling deadline approaches in December, Americans should be aware of how disastrous a default could be, warned Thomson, an economic historian who’s currently working on a book about American debt in the civil war period. Events from the 1840s, he wrote, “offer a clear warning that default ought to be avoided at all costs, lest the United States trigger a global recession entirely of its own making.”