US never defaulted on its debt? Not so fast

Associated Press
US never defaulted on its debt? Not so fast

FILE - This Aug. 19, 2012 file photo shows military re enactors in the uniforms of U.S. Marines from the War of 1812, marching in front of the USS Constitution, the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship, moments after the vessel arrived at her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the ship's victory over HMS Guerriere in the War of 1812. One bit of gospel is endlessly recited in the debt limit standoff: The United States has never defaulted. But history's not that simple. America has briefly stiffed some of its creditors on at least two occasions: subsequent to the War of 1812, the U.S. Treasury stood empty in 1814, Washington lay in ruins, and even the soldiers fighting the British weren't getting paid; the second time was blamed partly on lawmakers, who squabbled right down to the deadline before raising the debt limit in 1979, ultimately costing taxpayers billions of dollars. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

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