What is the relevance of section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the current crisis? What it seems to say is that the government must honor all public debt "authorized by law." This suggests that non-payment of our existing debt is not a constitutionally-permissible option for the president.
How did we get into this mess? Part of the answer lies with the president -- and his inability or unwillingness to use the bully pulpit to tell Americans the truth, and mobilize them for what must be done.
What's worse?: paying the bills and what's owed to peeps of this country or being viewed worldwide as "bad creditors" and defaulting? Then, what? We get smacked with higher interests and yoda, yoda, yoda.