I think your last sentence was the real driver behind this fight. I believe we agree in everything you state, but the challenge is that over the last decade the government spending has done nothing but increase with increases in taxes recently, too. Obama has many times said that he will work with congress to make changes in spending, promised if they gave him more in taxes he would sit down and work on spending....blah, blah, blah...once again in this fight he said basically, "give me more money to borrow (debt limit) and allow us to spend the way I want it right now (current budget)....then I will sit down and talk with you about possibly, maybe, considering some changes to spending."
It is this kind of BS that keeps us spending more and more and more. Those in congress that made the fight were trying (and perhaps poorly) to make the point that we need a real fight with real consequences to tighten our belts and enter a season of sacrifice...perhaps akin to the greatest generation in US history....during WWII--when sacrifice and giving was normal and done without complaint. Bunch of cry babies we've all become!!