They are treating it as a game, although it is a very dangerous one. Our two parties in Washington continue to offer brinksmanship and bluster rather than solutions as the nation inches perilously close to defaulting on its debt. To say the consequences would be dire, even as our elected officials fail to come to agreement. How dire? Plan on losing about a quarter of the value of your investments. More than 1.5 million jobs lost in the U.S. The U.S. dollar would be weakened. The cost of borrowing money to buy a house or car would rise, as would credit card rates. The effects would be felt well outside our borders. A default would kickstart not only a domestic recession, but a global financial crisis as well. Yet some in Washington, like US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), suggest a possible default is a “phony crisis.” These dire predictions don’t sound very phony. It sounds like it would hit you and me right in the wallet, while many government services would be slowed or halted. The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt before. The U.S. has voted to raise the debt ceiling more than 100 times, and Washington must do so again, or you and I will certainly face the consequences.