LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump has some advice for the Republican Party. The New York real estate tycoon went on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning and told the hosts that if the GOP wants to ensure that President Barack Obama isn't re-elected, all it has to do is not make any deals with Democrats and default on Aug. 2.
Trump seems to think that using the country's sparkling AAA credit rating as a sacrificial lamb and letting the nation default would damage Obama, who has been willing to put everything including entitlements on the table, more than it would hurt Republicans, who have refused to raise revenues on the richest Americans and companies during the debt ceiling negotiations.
"When it comes time to default, they're not going to remember any of the Republicans' names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that's Obama," Trump said.
The billionaire doesn't seem at all concerned about the damage such an unprecedented U.S. default could do to Wall Street and other financial markets. Trump's casual approach is not shared by financial experts.
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said that if Congress can't get it together, the results could be tragic as banks would slow down on lending and investors might pull their money out of the market.
"If we got to a crush point where we couldn't come to a deal, that would wipe out the financial sector," Baker said.
Tony Pierce writes for the Los Angeles Times. Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com.