Few think that Congress won't at some point raise the debt ceiling, which is a good thing, because the consequences of not doing so could be disastrous.
In fact, one economist said the scenario would be worse than the lowest point of the financial crisis.
"Failure to raise the debt limit would likely be more catastrophic to the economy than the 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers and would erase many of the gains of the subsequent recovery," said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.
A failure to raise the debt ceiling would trigger a government shutdown, which in turn would lop $6.5 billion from the economy for each week it's allowed to continue, said Bovino, who cited a "butterfly effect" that would ripple through various activities.
"A disruption in government spending means no government paychecks to spend at the mall, lost business and revenue to private contractors, lost sales at retail shops, particularly those that circle now-closed national parks, and less tax revenue for Uncle Sam," she said in a note. "That means less economic activity and fewer jobs."