Shutdown and debt-ceiling crises: Tea Party Republicans could crash the world economy

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The 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires that our debts be honored, and in my view, and the view of many legal scholars, that gives the president the authority to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling himself. He should do so. 

House Republicans want to negotiate with a bomb wrapped around their bodies. The problem is that if the bomb explodes, it not only will blow up Republicans — which it will — but also the American and world economies.

ObamaCare is the law. It was passed by Congress, signed by the president, enacted into law, and is scheduled to open for business this week. Republicans must accept this; otherwise they attack democracy itself. There are legitimate procedures for changing laws Republicans don't like. Threatening to destroy the functionality of the U.S. government and triggering a catastrophic U.S. default are not among them. 

To destroy the government's ability to function today, and to destroy the good faith and credit of the U.S., and drive the U.S. into the largest financial default in world history within weeks, would be an epic disaster for the world economy and a black mark on the GOP that will stain the party in 2014 and for generations.