This is not an economic short game. This entire mess is about the final destruction of a sworn enemy. Obama, the MSM, Harry Reid, and other congressional cohorts see and end to a serious Republican challenge and two-party politics for the foreseeable future. If it means sticking it to the American people, then so be it. If it means another credit rating drop, fine. The 2013 mantra of this Democrat party is, "Better to rule a failing, floundering country than to coexist in a rebounding, growing one."
As poorly as Republicans are playing this, perhaps the country would be better off in the long run if Republicans were simply crushed by this debacle. All that has driven the Republicans in Congress is fear of the next election outcome.