He might be an incredibly savvy guy, but on this one he's a little off. He's right in that the only way we default in August is if we choose to. Much the same way a restaurant in a really tight month won't automatically get their utilities turned off. The only way they get their utilities turned off is if they don't pay the bill. The US will only default on it's debt if we choose not to pay the debt interest. The problem is that much liked a cash-strapped restaurant has more than just the utility bill, the US has got more than just debt payments due in August. And there just isn't enough cash on hand to pay all of them without borrowing.
The biggest fallacy of this entire circus is the notion that cutting spending, raising taxes or pretty much ANYTHING will change the fact that in August the US will need to borrow money (i.e. raise the debt ceiling) to pay all it's bills. We've got enough to pay the bank (i.e. debt payments) but SOMETHING will have to get shortchanged. Is it Military? Social Security? Education? All have big bills due in August and there's just not enough revenue to cover all of it without borrowing. The people that say that no deal by August 2nd doesn't mean default are technically correct. But the implication that there won't be a huge impact is false. It may not impact them, you, or me, but there WILL be an impact. Oh, and just because we pay the bank, if they find out we're not paying everyone else ... well that tends to make them nervous. We don't need to default to get our debt downgraded, and that can be just as bad as default.
And lastly, we've only defaulted (TRULY DEFAULTED) once. And it's not what he's referring to. It was when a bookkeeping SNAFU held up payment of a $12M or so in debt payments. It got paid less than a week later. The result? The interest rate on the debt was raised .54% and was kept there for a little over two years adding over a billion dollars in debt payments. That was for a $12M glitch. This would be worse.