From the Heritage Foundation, today:
Very simply, reaching the debt limit means spending is limited by revenue arriving at the Treasury and is guided by prioritization among the government’s obligations. How the government would decide to meet these obligations under the circumstances is a matter of some conjecture. Certainly, vast inflows of federal tax receipts—inflows that far exceed amounts needed to pay monthly interest costs on debt—would continue. Thus, the government would never be forced to default on its debt because of a lack of income. [emphasis added – MDC]
As the Bipartisan Policy Center has noted, there are certain days when inflows exceed outflows for interest payments; Dr. Foster also assumes the government can roll over debt that matures over the February 15-March 15 period (approx. $500 bn). That Dr. Foster could assert with certainty that the Federal government would never default (that is, be late in a payment) strikes me as an unjustified degree of certitude, given what we know about daily inflows in February.
More analysis from Heritage on this issue is contained in “Debt Ceiling: Default Not at Issue, Federal Spending Is
“, written by J.D. Foster.