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.
President Obama made every sincere effort to negotiate and at every turn was rejected. Principled leadership is risky, no doubt, but there may be no other moral alternative that saves the nation from economic chaos.