07/30/2011 12:21 pm ET | Updated Sep 29, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debate: 11 Ways To Explain The Stakes

With the reported deadline to raise the debt ceiling drawing ever closer, Washington has yet to come to terms on a deal to do so -- this despite months of warnings from prominent politicians and businessmen alike, both of whom say not doing so could be potentially disastrous.

No doubt the reasoning behind the invoked metaphors is to allow the involved parties to understand the stakes at hand. But throughout the months, a few particularly imaginative selections have stood out, either for the number of times used, or just sheer creativity.

Indeed, the number of colorful metaphors sprinkling the political debate has now become no less than expansive. President Obama himself has referred to raising the debt ceiling as staving off "Armageddon." Others, including Chinese officials, have described the entire decision to debate raising the debt ceiling as "playing with fire." Some though, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, say the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling have been overstated.

Below are prominent leaders who have predicted the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling and potentially defaulting: