Pat Buchanan, in his column published Wednesday, tried to make the Republicans in Congress seem to be doing the right thing when, in fact, they are playing politics to the detriment of the people of the country.
He suggests they are trying to get the federal government going again by offering to refund all programs except the Affordable Care Act. They could have defunded that law, but it wouldn't have prevented much of it from working because it is largely self-funded. In order to make it a bigger issue, they shut down the government.
This was not very smart, as Mona Charen pointed out. They thought by shutting down the government they could win concessions from the Democrats and improve their popularity. It didn't work; most of the people in the country blame the shutdown on the Republicans.
On the possibility of causing a default, Buchanan tries to justify it by pointing to the increase in the deficit and blaming the Democrats for it. This is not a plausible argument. In all the administrations of both parties for more than 60 years, only one administration produced a balanced budget, and that was Clinton's. President Barack Obama has pointed out that once Congress has spent the money, it would be highly irresponsible and destructive not to pay its creditors. Default would not reduce the deficit, it would increase it by increasing the interest, if it didn't wreck the economy and cause a monster depression.
There are other points on which Buchanan is equally ridiculous, but to answer them would give them credibility they are not in any way entitled to. He gets paid to write this junk?