It’s Oct. 7, and here we are, just about to begin the second week of the federal government shutdown.

We already know it’s affecting the HVACR industry negatively, at least in part because the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has hit pause on the rulemaking process for the duration of the shutdown.

Debt Ceiling CatBut the shutdown itself isn’t even the biggest issue right now. In fact, it pales in comparison to what will happen if Congress continues to squabble over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) right up until Oct. 17, when the nation is forecast to hit its debt ceiling. And if that day comes and goes without a resolution, well, that’s “uncharted territory,” as Charlie McCrudden, vice president for government relations for Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), put it last week during an interview with The NEWS.

But what, exactly, would reaching the debt ceiling mean for the nation?

According to CBS Money Watch: “Experts agree that failing to raise the nation's debt ceiling by Oct. 17, when U.S. officials say the government will run out of money to pay its bills, would gravely wound the economy, and perhaps even throw it back into recession. Because Treasury bonds and the dollar are cornerstones of the global financial system, meanwhile, the shock wave would be felt around the world.”

Well, that sure sounds bad. And a little scary.

Some think Republicans and Democrats will reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling in the 11th hour, the crisis will be averted (for now), and all will be (mostly) well. Others aren’t so sure. This disagreement has already shut down the federal government for a week now, and it doesn’t appear that Congress has inched much closer to a resolution.

So, is this a game now of who will blink first? Readers, how do you think this will end?

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