I feel as I've been dragged kicking and screaming back in to the quagmire of political economics but into the muck I must trudge. The Debt Ceiling has deeper meaning this year, not because of the zeros on the amount of debt but because of sequestration. As we indicated earlier, the Fiscal Cliff dodge was a mistake by the Administration. A savvier pol would have demanded a grand bargain to define his legacy (not an endorsement of). However, the concept of default flickers across price quotes in different ways.
The US may not be able to default because of some Civil War scribbling but we are "soft defaulting" as a matter of policy right now. When a country funds itself at an average rate of less than the inflation and/or growth rate it is successfully executing a deceit. That trick is, like The Soft Parade for The Doors, the apex of one's creativity. What comes next is rehashing old concepts or bloated hazy fades into history.
In the weeks to come, we expect a plethora of quasi-intellectual and pseudo-legal arguments about Uncle Sam's IOUs and paying for them. Keep in mind, the question of whether or not we are "defaulting" on them was answered several years ago.