Two options: default on the debt and admit we're just a super-giant Banana Republic (please pardon the bigoted connotations of the phrase, it is a conversational standard to express easily the position of a state's economic delusions of grandeur), or we can devalue the dollar by printing thousands of sheets of currency until the trillions owed amount to squat. Right now the political big wigs are going for option two. What a person learns in Economics 101 is that, when the economy is in trouble, the LAST thing you want to do is print money. By de-valuing the dollar, the poor get poorer. Hopefully we won't face the problems of Depression-Era Europe/Germany when people had to spend thousands of dollars on a loaf of bread.
What really gets my goat these days is the overwhelming feeling that we, the majority of America, are being held hostage by the rich. The refusal to let Bush-Era tax cuts expire on the wealthiest of the wealthy was one instance, the Koch Brothers funding a war against WI Unions is another... The rich are able to accost the average american by threatening, 'if you tax us further, we will have to take your job overseas.' Well, damnit, they GOT their tax breaks and STILL aren't giving anyone jobs. We got fucked over. Again. And now they want to take more of our money to fund their pet projects (WI Unions).
I saw a clip from Rachel Maddow's show that really resonated with me: