Add in the $20.5 trillion of Federal Government Debt and the combined debt of all States, Counties, and Municipalities of $3.098 Trillion, the total debt comes to over $37 Trillion.
“Since the day of Alexander Hamilton, the United States has never defaulted on the Federal debt.” The private debt is another issue and the defaults during the 2008 housing collapse and subsequent credit collapse should tell you something.
That’s what we budget-watchers always say. It’s a great talking point. One that helps bolster the argument that default should not be an option in Washington’s latest debt limit showdown.
There’s just one teensy problem: it isn’t exactly true. The United States defaulted on some Treasury bills in 1979 (ht: Jason Zweig). And it paid a steep price for stiffing bondholders.
|States & Local Debt||$1,184.0 State||$1,914.6 Local||$3,098.6 Total|