ART Fern, the poorly toupee-ed host of Johnny Carson's fictional Tea Time Matinee, once explained financing in a fake commercial for a car dealer. "Have bad credit? We don't care."
"Have no job? We don't care."
"Miss a payment? Then we care."
Now what is this silliness about the United States of America going into default?
Fox News Business Editor Neil Cavuto took President Obama to task for his talk of Armageddon and default if the debt ceiling is not raised.
"This is the 17th time we've been through this," Cavuto said in an on-air commentary on Tuesday.
"But somehow we get through this. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks.
"But not once, did we ever not pay our bills. At least the important bills. Like interest payments to our bondholders. Miss those and you do default."
Congress will have little choice but to increase its limit on borrowing, because the nation lacks the discipline it had 20 years ago when it began working toward balancing the budget.
That lack of fiscal discipline is the problem, not the debt ceiling or even overheated talk about default.
The best way to not have to worry about making payments to the Art Ferns of the world is to not borrow money from him in the first place.
Not borrowing is what the president, Congress and the public that elected them need to work on.