The Treasury Department can prioritize payments in order to avoid a default. In addition, the Treasury could sell some of its assets in order to pay the bills. There are approximately $2.6 trillion dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund; those assets can be used to pay benefits. Furthermore, there is already trillions of dollars of interagency debt that counts toward the $14.29 trillion debt limit. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner could convert that inter-agency debt into publicly-held debt, preventing not only a technical default but also preventing any delay in government payments. While the Treasury cannot use money from the Social Security Trust Fund, it can “disinvest” from other trust funds to pay for benefits. The Treasury Department could also make cash available from the trust fund by “disinvesting” some of the money used to buy government bonds. The disinvesting approach is a temporary accounting device that would help maintain the Treasury’s cash flow. In other words, the debt ceiling being reached will have little affect on seniors, poor people, veterans, military + their families. Also, if I'm not mistaken, Republicans also offered to raise the debt limit as long as the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill was passed, and it is the president who is failing to compromise with them and is waging a mostly emotional political fight that has little to no basis on facts at the expense of not coming to an agreement in time.