. . or is it? Or is it now a game of "chicken"? Each side holds back until we get closer to default hoping the other side will give in first in order to prevent default! The extremists, the Tea Party bunch are pressing to cut welfare expenses a few trillion dollars in order to avoid rising the debt ceiling at all. They would rather have the insane, retarded, aged, homeless and unemployed wandering the streets without food or shelter in order to avoid paying the same taxes they paid during the Clinton Administration. They don't want to cut out the some 35 billion dollars in agricultural subsidies either, nor the tax breaks for the oil companies or close a mass of unneeded military bases in the US. Perhaps I should stock up on gold and oil stocks!