We’ve all heard about magic trillion-dollar coins and other fantastical scenarios to save the U.S. government from finally smacking its head against the debt ceiling, but trying to really understand the whole thing and what we’re in for if something can’t be figured out is kind of intimidating. Which is why we’re really glad someone came up with a “choose your own adventure” type to see exactly what we could be getting into.
Quartz has a handy-dandy chart that lays out exactly how and why we would or could end up going into default or what could trigger a government shutdown in a clear, “if this happens, then that” way.
It isn’t unlike the end of a chapter in one of those books that asks, “What do you do now? If you attack the cyborg, turn to page 57. If you run away from the cyborg and hide in a closet like a wussy crybaby, turn to page 91.”
Everything begins with two options — either we reach a fiscal consolidation bargain and yay, the debt ceiling is raised or President Obama concedes to GOP demands of massive spending cut and the adventure stops there.
If neither of those happen, the U.S. Treasury will run out of funds to pay its debts between February 15 and March 1, and the choose your own adventure really gets underway.
Check out the full chart over at Quartz and see how we could possibly end up with some sort of dragon situation. Much better than the CYOA endings like, “You hid in the closet and wept like the baby that you are, alerting the cyborg to your location. Upon uncovering your hiding spot the cyborg immediately zaps you into a bajillion particles of cowardice. The End.”