billvon has beaten me to it. That's not the reports I've read, such as this and this, which suggest that he has not "agreed to not increase the debt ceiling", but rather that any agreement to increase the ceiling will require significant spending cuts. i.e. they will agree to an increase if certain conditions are met. Which source are you getting your understanding from? To be fair, billions is roundings for the US economy. As to whether it has cost more than the spending cuts they insist on, I'll leave that to an economist to give input. By one of the agencies, yes. That's somewhat different to a default, though, and a failure to agree to increase the debt. It caused quite a stir on the markets, I agree, but was all rather short-term, though. There is history, and what I said is factually not bullshit: both sides have raised the debt ceiling while in power. Point to a President that has not, during their term, raised the debt ceiling. Clinton didn't increase it by much, but that was due to the Republicans controlling Congress for much of his tenure. So, what exactly is bullshit? It's simple, really. If they don't reach some agreement to raise the ceiling, the government goes into shutdown, and the US will default on debts. That they will utilise this opportunity to make political gains, and to try to instil some spending reductions etc, is to be expected. Now, if it turns out that their demands are simply nonsense such that they're going to refuse to uplift the ceiling regardless, then okay, that'll be a different matter.