Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, Lew countered the comments being circulated on Capital Hill by those saying that missing the Oct. 17 deadline would not really trigger a "Doomsday."
Lew stopped short of saying that payments on the debt would be jeopardized after the October 17 due date. He did say there were other payments that would be in jeopardy, and be considered in default. "Under any scenario, we will be defaulting on obligations," Lew said.
Lew produced a written statement, with the warning that upcoming payments (See video) on the following would be affected and in jeopardy of not being paid before Nov. 1:
- Social Security
- Veterans Benefits
- Active-duty military salaries
"The United States should not be put in a position of making such perilous choices for our economy and our citizens," Lew said.
Lew's appearance before the committee was in keeping with the Obama administrations stance that Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling and pass a spending bill. Obama has remained firm and unmoving on this issue throughout the shutdown.
A meeting was held with top GOP leaders Thursday afternoon at the White House to discuss the stalemate. It was learned further meetings with Democratic leaders were in order over the next day or so.
Many are wondering just how hard it would be to end the impasse, when a simple vote would end the whole mess. But few people realize the complex set of problems the shutdown has created that most of us know nothing about.
Credit-rating agency Moody's, released an analysis of the governments stand on its debt. Moody's claims that even if we missed the Oct. 17 deadline, we would not go into default, and our credit rating would not be affected. They say the Treasury Department would find a way to pay the interest, if nothing else.
There is a fallacy to this way of thinking though. It's like a family in financial trouble "robbing Peter to pay Paul." The debt is still there, and time constraints get tighter and tighter. It is time the Congress thinks about all this in a different way. One novel idea would be to actually come up with a budget for our government.