A country’s pristine credit rating is a lot like virginity, says billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Once you lose it, it’s gone forever.
During a Wednesday interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the Berkshire Hathaway chairman warned it would be extremely difficult for the United States to regain financial credibility if Congress cannot hammer out a deal to raise the country’s debt limit.
“Credit worthiness is like virginity,” said Buffett. “It can be preserved but not restored very easily so it is crazy to play around with it.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are currently scrambling to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit before Thursday’s encroaching deadline. The Senate is closing in on a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
The plan calls for funding the government through mid-January and extending the debt limit through early February. It also calls on lawmakers to work toward a solution on the overall budget by Dec. 13 and has stricter income verification for subsidies under Obamacare.
Buffett also said the GOP threat to not raise the debt limit after money has already been spent a “political weapon of mass destruction.”
“There are certain weapons that are just improper to use against humanity. It is a political weapon of mass destruction and both sides should say we’re not going to touch it, just like with poison gas or nuclear weapons. It’s too powerful.”
Even if Congress manages to strike a deal, there are potential economic consequences of even coming irresponsibly close to defaulting.