Fortunately, an actual default is a red herring. The president has sweeping powers through Treasury to continue paying the national debt. Mr. Obama alluded to this on Tuesday by listing the non-debt obligations that might be paid late, including government contractors, veterans and Social Security recipients (whose checks are due Nov. 1). In effect, the government would choose to pay them late and use newly arrived tax revenues to maintain debt payments.
Read the whole thing. Goodness.