This situation arises because of an artificial crisis provoked by conservatives. Since 1939 there has been a legal limit on the size of the national debt. And each year Congress has raised the limit to allow the debt to climb. This year the Republicans, the majority in the House of Representatives, are refusing to raise the limit unless the Obama administration and Democrats accept monster cuts in government spending in the next federal budget.
Raising the limit, allows the government to sell more bonds and securities or to make other commitments to obtain revenue to meet its international and domestic obligations.
Fact: No one thinks the debt should be ignored. Another fact: Republicans want everyone to believe that their strategy of draconian government cuts is the only option