New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Default a 'Seismic Event' That Would Damage 'America's Word'

Billionaire mayor willing to see his taxes increase to reach a budget deal.

ByABC News
July 22, 2011, 6:18 PM

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011 — -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes a U.S. default on its debt obligations would be a "seismic event" that would damage "America's word" and its status as a dependable financial standard.

He even is willing to see his taxes increase in order to reach a long-term budget agreement.

"I don't think anybody will look ever again at America and the dollar as the reserve currency, where this is the standard by which all other risks are measured," if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations, Bloomberg told "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour. "It's one seismic event that says you can never depend 100 percent on America's word anymore."

"The world won't come to an end," Bloomberg added. "We will find a way to pay people afterwards and get government going again, but it puts a doubt in the back of people's minds that you would find it very difficult to erase."

Bloomberg does not believe that spending cuts alone should make up the final budget deal still being negotiated, insisting that revenue increases must be part of the equation.

"You can't cut enough to balance the budget, and you have to if we're going to eliminate the deficit and reduce the debt," Bloomberg said. "You have to raise money from someplace."

The billionaire mayor said that he is willing to see his own taxes go up as part of a long-term deal to reduce the deficit.

"I get pretty good value for my taxes. ... We get a lot for our tax dollars," Bloomberg said. "I don't want to pay any more taxes than is necessary, but I do want the services, and I want us to live within our means. So, if we want more services, we've got to come up with the revenue."

Bloomberg spoke with Amanpour in advance of New York becoming the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage this weekend. For more on Bloomberg's views on same-sex marriage and on the ongoing budget negotiations, watch "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" on Sunday.