The Corner

Default, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

…but in ourselves. Chancellor Williamson noted this one yesterday afternoon in the Exchequer. While Little Timmy Geithner has been running around bleating that failing to raise the debt ceiling would risk default, the Chinese have concluded that we’re already defaulting:

A Chinese ratings house has accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt, state media said Friday, a day after Beijing urged Washington to put its fiscal house in order.

“In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting,” Guan Jianzhong, president of Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., the only Chinese agency that gives sovereign ratings, was quoted by the Global Times saying.

Washington had already defaulted on its loans by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies — eroding the wealth of creditors including China, Guan said.

Geithner and Bernanke can protest all they want that debauching the currency and the left hand buying the right hand’s debt and quantitively easing yourself all day long like Congressman Weiner is so totally not like defaulting. But, if the dwindling ranks of buyers of Treasury debt around the world come to see it like that, that’s what counts.

Imagine what a man who’d been cryogenically frozen circa 1963 would make of the above wire story. Communist China has a debt rating agency? And it’s urging fiscal restraint on the U.S. government? 

America has a looming rendezvous with destiny. You can’t tax your way out of it, you can’t inflate your way out of it, you can’t quantitively ease your way out of it. The only door that leads anywhere is the one marked “Massive Government Cuts.” There is not enough money on the planet for what the Permanent Governing Class is doing. If Americans decline to grasp that central truth, this country will die.   

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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