From Wikipedia - remember that Pertinax was Roman Emperor for three months in AD 193, after the assassination of Commodus at age 31.
Ancient writers detail how the Praetorian Guard expected a generous donativum on his ascension, and when they were disappointed, agitated until he produced the money, selling off Commodus' property, including the concubines and youths Commodus kept for his sexual pleasures. He reformed the Roman currency dramatically, increasing the silver purity of the denarius from 74% to 87% — the actual silver weight increasing from 2.22 grams to 2.75 grams. This currency reform did not survive his death.There is not going to be a sovereign debt crisis here tomorrow, but you can see how it is going to happen (Thinking About the Unthinkable Bond Bear Market):
Pertinax attempted to impose stricter military discipline upon the pampered Praetorians. In early March he narrowly averted one conspiracy by a group to replace him with the consul Quintus Sosius Falco while he was in Ostia inspecting the arrangements for grain shipments. The plot was betrayed; Falco himself was pardoned but several of the officers behind the coup were executed.
On 28 March 193, Pertinax was at his palace when, according to the Historia Augusta, a contingent of some three hundred soldiers of the Praetorian Guard rushed the gates (two hundred according to Cassius Dio). Ancient sources suggest that they had received only half their promised pay. Neither the guards on duty nor the palace officials chose to resist them...
All of the federal, state, and municipal governments are planning to borrow to cover their operational and pension shortfalls. They think it will be no big deal thanks to low interest rates.Instead of just one constituency that can't be disappointed, this country has many, many. Can a donativum be denied the Pentagon, defense contractors, public sector workers, public sector retirees, social security and medicare recipients?
After all, who cares about promising to pay $X next year if what that really means is that you are going to amortize $X over the next thirty years.
We can see with Trump's tax plan (implausible tax cuts and no specific expenditure cuts) that the personalities no longer really matter to the ultimate outcome: sovereign debt crisis, inability to debt finance expenditure, followed by loss of legitimacy of government.