""A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse..."
No need to panic per se but clearly congress needs to gets its act together. Fiscal deficits and the National debt (approaching $17 trillion!) do need to come down that means higher taxes and less government expenditure. I'm sure a compromise will come in one way or another at the last minute. By the way you can watch the US national debt, corporate debt and personal debt here LINK2