SO HERE’S A QUESTION: Would a default on Treasuries accomplish what the Balanced Budget Amendment was supposed to achieve, by forcing the government to spend no more than it takes in? With more collateral damage, of course. . . .

UPDATE: Well, I was hoping for a thoughtful email from an expert, but instead I got a typically intemperate blog post from Bruce Bartlett. Bruce, I’m not trying to turn the United States into Zimbabwe. That would be the guy in the White House, whom you seem surprisingly anxious to defend.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Bruce Bartlett updates:

Mark Thoma thinks I am taking Reynolds too seriously. He’s probably right that Reynolds himself was not serious in his suggestion. But I have heard the same idea advanced seriously on numerous occasions among conservatives. I would note that a Fox News poll on October 1, 2009 found two-thirds of Americans saying that the debt limit should not be increased.

Well, yes, that’s why I raised the question — not a suggestion — to begin with. This has not prevented a schoolyard pile-on by lefty bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, of course, but I expect no more from them.

And I’ll note that while a Senator, Barack Obama opposed raising the debt limit, calling it a sign of “leadership failure.”