Members of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party urgently have been warning Congress, especially GOP members of the House, that the U.S. debt limit must be raised – and raised soon – to avoid default, the dollar’s collapse and various other catastrophies.

“Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States,” threatened Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a recent letter to Congress. “Default would effectively impose a significant and long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs.”

“If we didn’t renew the debt ceiling, our soldiers and veterans wouldn’t be paid, Social Security checks wouldn’t go out,” warned Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We might permanently threaten confidence of the credit markets in the dollar, which would create a recession worse than the one we have now, or even a depression.”

But a new analysis from J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture senior fellow in the economics of fiscal policy at the Heritage Foundation, calls that warning alarmism.

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