Buffett: U.S. either pays its bills or is a 'deadbeat'

October 16, 2013: 12:32 PM ET
Buffett: Get rid of debt limit 'entirely'
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett chastised Congress on Wednesday, calling their bickering over the debt ceiling "playing games" with a "political weapon of mass destruction."

He was optimistic that word from Capitol Hill of a deal between Senate leadership signaled a measure to avoid U.S. default would pass both chambers.

"My guess is it will make it through," he told CNN's Poppy Harlow in an interview on the sidelines of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington.

"Assuming it passes -- I think the first thing that should be done is that both sides should say that we should not use the debt limit as a weapon anymore," he said. "In fact, we should get rid of it entirely."

The rhetoric from Washington is "detrimental to the economy, it worries people unnecessarily. If they want to keep the debt down, they just don't spend more than they raise in revenue."

Related: Congress won't resort to 'extreme idiocy,' Buffett says

Despite a downgrade to AA+ by Standard and Poor's in 2011 during another debt showdown and a warning from ratings agency Fitch on Tuesday, the U.S. remains a AAA creditor in Buffett's mind.

"You either pay your bills or you don't pay your bills," he said. "You're either a deadbeat or somebody whose credit can be counted on."

Buffett is a supporter of President Barack Obama. He implied blame for the standoff -- which started in late September with a showdown over funding the federal government and Obamacare -- lies with conservative Republicans.

Related: Warren Buffett's pick for Fed chair is...

"People play brinkmanship games sometimes, but it is totally asinine to have a debt ceiling at all and to use it as a means to try to get your way out of anything else, whether its abortion, gun control, Obamacare, what have it," Buffett said.

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