Yesterday, I heard it being said again. The official said a failure by Congress to raise the federal debt limit would mean the United States would have defaulted on its debt. Again and again we hear it: Not raising the debt limit is defaulting on the debt.
Sorry, folks, but this is a direct and deliberate LIE.
Let's get specific. If Congress does not raise the debt limit, then the U.S. cannot borrow more money. That can have some serious effects for governmental operations and for the economy, but it does not affect the willingness or ability of the United States to repay debt already held.