David Wessel had an article in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, "Before deficit yields to political drama, some stubborn facts." Here is an interested excerpt:
Refusing to raise the debt ceiling won't cut spending or shrink the deficit. "As far as I am aware," former Reagan Treasury official Bruce Bartlett wrote recently, "no other country on Earth has the idiotic policy that the U.S. has of having a legal limit on ... bonds the central government can issue. They correctly recognize that the deficit and the debt are simply residuals resulting from the government's tax and spending policies. It makes no sense to treat the debt as if it were an independent variable." In other words, if you favored extending expiring Bush tax cuts, you favored borrowing more.