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Clinton points to this clause in the Fourteenth Amendment: "the validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned." as justification for ignoring the debt ceiling. But as I read it, its talking about the debt not being questioned, not new spending not being questioned. Default is not allowed constitutionally. Clearly, paying the interest on our debts SHOULD take precedence over new spending.
Paying the interest on the debt is not the same as paying for new spending. There is more than enough revenue to pay the interest. If Congress and the President followed the Constitution, there's no risk of default.
Of course, the actual language is about whether the US is on the hook for debts incurred by the Confederacy or any losses related to emancipating the slaves.