The US is an empire in decline. It started sometime in my generation. The generation (or two) before mine were the reasons for it's rise. They were a generation of workers. A generation who made sacrifices - tires rations, gas rations, sugar rations. They made do with less than what they had and they applied their energy to building roads, dams, power grids. telecommunications.
My generation... well... we were kinda spoiled. We enjoyed the surplus the previous generation built up. Then we enjoyed our stuff, then we enjoyed our children's stuff, and now were are enjoying our future grandchildrens' stuff
This is what debt is after all - using the future to pay for the present. Problem is, you can only do that for so long. Take the story of Joseph in Egypt, from the Bible. Whether you believe it to be a true account or not, the concept taught is valid. In the story, Egypt experienced 7 years of abundant harvest, followed by 7 years of famine. Thanks to the Pharoah's dream (and Joseph's interpretation). They were prepared. They stored up the abundance, and lived off it during the famine. That is a pretty obvious and applicable concept. Famines happen. Job loss, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods,...
And if you have no food, because you wasted all your money on trinkets,... well... you starve.
Given that. Does this whole shutdown and debt ceiling matter? So what if it happens? Seems to me it will only hasten the inevitable. And to my way of thinking, better it hit us - the one's who created the mess - than our grandchildren, the unfortunate heirs of our irresponsibility.