Despite Chris Matthews best attempts to get Congressman Steve King to admit that defaulting on our debt might actually be harmful to our economy and what might happen if these wingnut members of the House think that default is a good thing, Steve
July 14, 2011

Despite Chris Matthews best attempts to get Congressman Steve King to admit that defaulting on our debt might actually be harmful to our economy and what might happen if these wingnut members of the House think that default is a good thing, Steve King dug in and insisted he had "other sources of information" than that evil liberal media that he doesn't trust that default might not be harmful, like his misinformed voters who probably aren't following the issue and have no clue what it would mean for our economy.

I'm not sure just how much more irresponsibly these wingnut Republicans have to act before the American public decides they're not fit for office any more. After showing a brief clip of fellow House member and self-proclaimed "tea party" member, or in other words, someone who doesn't want to let voters know they're in the same party as George W. Bush, Joe Walsh calling President Obama a liar for saying that Social Security checks might not go out if an agreement isn't reached and that we might be turned into some "European wasteland", Matthews asked King if he knew what his fellow Congressman meant by that.

King of course pretended like there might be some way to fiddle with which of our financial obligations were paid and that just the fact that they're even entertaining this idea might not start to have some affect in the bond markets who I'm sad to say might have real reason to believe that many of our current members of the House of Representatives are actually stupid enough to believe that we could say we're not going to pay for the bills they've already run up and it would not hurt our credit rating.

Matthews did a pretty good job of calling out King for not believing the warnings from credible sources on how dangerous and harmful to our economy defaulting on our debt would be. What he gave him a pass on is the fact that this debt is not for future obligations. It's for debt that King and his party were already happy to run up and now don't think we should pay not for unless that means those who are the most vulnerable in our society take the hit to balance our budget rather than the wealthiest.

Full transcript below the fold.

MATTHEWS: Well, what`s "European wasteland"? What are we talking about, European wasteland? And by the way, do you agree with him that the government is not going to go into default in early August if you don`t pass the debt ceiling? Do you agree with him on that?

KING: First, the wasteland part of this thing, I can -- we can -- we can see it across the states like Pennsylvania and Ohio and other states. Michigan would be another. We haven`t kept our investment. There`s not the optimism for the capital investment. Money is sitting on the sidelines.

So where I stand on this is -- I think the president may well -- and he did yesterday -- implied the threat that senior citizens might not get their Social Security checks. He said, Eat your peas and we can`t guarantee our veterans` pension payments or our Social Security checks coming in.

I think what I`ve done today with Michele Bachmann and Louis Gomert, introducing the Promises Act (INAUDIBLE) and it directs this, that we pay our military first. They`re in uniform. Their lives are on the line and their families are living paycheck to military paycheck and they become a political pawn instead. They should be guaranteed to be paid first for all time.

And we need to service our debt. And that needs to also be guaranteed for all time. That conserves right now about 15.2 percent of our revenue stream before you touch the part that we`re borrowing. So we can do this. And Social Security needs to be paid, as does the military. And so that`s what we`re trying to do is to lend --

MATTHEWS: So wait a minute. What`s your -- let me --

KING: -- some confidence to the markets.

MATTHEWS: Let me get you straight. You don`t believe we go into default.


MATTHEWS: You believe that Geithner is lying, the president`s lying, McConnell`s wrong. Everybody in the country is worried about this, but you have some superior knowledge. What basis do you have for your judgment? Where do you get --

KING: Yes, I do!

MATTHEWS: -- the information from?

KING: I do have superior knowledge. Thanks for recognizing it. I have watched this --

MATTHEWS: Where have you got it from?

KING: -- come out of the White House and I`ve watched this transition. I`ve listened to the administration, the executives that are part of this administration. Many of them will say what the president wants them to say. You have to put that through a filter before you can figure out what the truth is. That`s not a mystery. It`s not unique knowledge, but it`s common knowledge.

MATTHEWS: So they`re all -- so Jack Lew, the OMB director, the treasury secretary, everyone around the president, the business community that`s now scared to death, Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber, all those people are lying, and you`ve got the truth.

KING: Yes.

MATTHEWS: You and Bachmann have the truth.

KING: Here`s what I`ll tell you, is, that if you look at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who shifted their position on "Don`t ask, don`t tell," it`s -- you can`t convince me that they actually changed their mind. Their commander-in-chief changed their mind, just like he changes the mind of his cabinet.

So when you listen to the cabinet, read through the tea leaves and think about what`s the process here. If the president is going to decide who he`s going to pay with the 58 percent of our current expenditures that`s coming in in revenue stream --


KING: -- if he won`t take the oath that he`ll pay the troops first and service our debt second, then he is using the threat of --

MATTHEWS: OK, but --

KING: -- a financial calamity to try to get his debt ceiling increase.

MATTHEWS: But I`m just asking you, do you believe the United States goes into default if Congress doesn`t act in the next week or so?

KING: If they pass my bill, no.

MATTHEWS: No, but do we go into default --

KING: If the president honors the theme of my bill, no.

MATTHEWS: So if the United States doesn`t -- if we don`t pass the debt ceiling, you don`t worry about that.

KING: I think that we have plenty of money to service our debt. But the message that`s going out is creating unstable markets today because they`re beginning to wonder --


KING: -- if the president will or will not service the debt. And it should not be his discretion. Congress should put the bill on his desk.

MATTHEWS: You have just compared, sir, the decision over policy, "Don`t ask, don`t tell," with the president of the United States, who`s also commander-in-chief under our Constitution, has made a policy judgment to get rid of it and he`s supported by his cabinet and his Joint Chiefs. You`re comparing that to an objective statement that we face default if we don`t pass the debt ceiling. That`s a screwy comparison! One has to do with policy --

KING: No, your listeners understand that, Chris!

MATTHEWS: -- one has to do with information and knowledge.

KING: Your listeners understand it, and so do the people I`m dealing with. They understand that. They know that when you get --

MATTHEWS: Who are the people you`re dealing with?

KING: The American citizens who will select the next president of the United States, who elected the majority in the United States House of Representatives --


KING: -- that`s who!

MATTHEWS: So you`re polling in your district to find out whether the United States goes into default or not at the end of this month. It`s your district that`s telling you this information. They know what`s going to happen within the international economic situation.

KING: Chris, here`s another thing. I know this is a revelation, but I have an independent judgment, as well.

MATTHEWS: OK, tell me where it comes from.

KING: (INAUDIBLE) independent judgment. It comes from a long experience of dealing politically and in business and raising a family and being an American citizen, just like the independent judgment of my constituents. The republican form of government --

MATTHEWS: What does raising a family teach you about --

KING: -- that`s guaranteed by the Constitution-

MATTHEWS: -- international finance?

KING: -- requires me to use independent judgment!

MATTHEWS: Where do you get a knowledge -- where does knowledge about international finance derive from raising a family? What`s the connection?

KING: That`s not my only source of information is raising my children. There are many other sources of information. And I gather that, just like you do. I mean, you seem to have an independent judgment --


KING: -- to be my critic. So you know, I could challenge you the same way.



MATTHEWS: Do you trust "The Wall Street Journal"?

KING: -- legitimate comparison.

MATTHEWS: Do you trust "The Wall Street Journal"? Do you trust "The New York Times"?

KING: I read "The Wall Street Journal."

MATTHEWS: Do you trust --

KING: I sometimes read "The New York Times." I don`t really trust -- I don`t trust the words of any source. You`ve got to put that all together and draw your own independent judgment.

MATTHEWS: Do you trust the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Do you trust the major corporations when they say we`re in trouble here if we don`t pass the debt ceiling? Do you trust any of these organizations or leaders?

KING: I sit in my office day by day doing hours of meetings, challenging all of those entities that you`re talking about in one way or another.

MATTHEWS: All at once?

KING: Not all at once, individually. I`ve got to put together my own independent prudential judgment --


KING: -- as do all Americans.

MATTHEWS: (INAUDIBLE) U.S. congressman and you have the authority to make this judgment. Let me just ask you, cite one international expert that says we don`t have a problem if we don`t pass the debt ceiling. Just cite one that you have trust in.

KING: Listen, I have trusted --

MATTHEWS: Just one you have trust in.

KING: I don`t need to go to an international expert. We don`t have an international law and we don`t have an international financial institution here, it`s just affected by international finances. So my judgment is this --



MATTHEWS: Give me one national expert, one U.S. citizen you trust on this issue who is an expert in international finance.

KING: The bill that I introduced today is the bill that adds stability to our international financial markets.


KING: And find one who will disagree with that! That`s what I challenge you to do.

MATTHEWS: OK, so basically --

KING: They`d all agree that if we guarantee --


KING: -- we`re going to service our debt, it`ll be more stability. And every international expert will tell you that.

MATTHEWS: OK. OK, thank you --

KING: Thanks.

MATTHEWS: Thank you, U.S. Congressman Steve King, for coming on HARDBALL.

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