In Washington, neither Republicans nor Democrats face the truth about likely outcomes if there’s no deal on raising the debt ceiling. Democrats predict instant default, but we’ll continue collecting enough tax money to pay creditors, send social security checks, and support the military. Republicans, however, offer no plausible exit strategy if they force a crisis: without new borrowing authority, Uncle Sam comes up $700 billion short this year on already appropriated funds, forcing closure of innumerable government offices and likely producing a new recession by shrinking the economy. Moreover, public hysteria over a partial government shutdown would force ultimate GOP capitulation, at a disastrous political cost. Conservatives will gain far more by coupling a debt ceiling rise with substantive, immediate cuts, rather than provoking an unpredictable crisis where the president gets to decide how limited money is spent.