As we approach the next artificially constructed, politically motivated, intentionally promoted national crisis, we should keep one thing in mind: though we speak of a national debt, there is no single national debt. The debts the government owes are real enough, and a source of national shame, totalling as they do over $16 trillion. But those debts are owed to millions of holders of the various Treasury notes, bills, and bonds, each of whom may own multiple securities of various maturities. Sold weekly, the securities come due and, as people get around to it, are either rolled over or redeemed every business day.That is important because as we run up against the debt ceiling, the fear mongers will claim that failure to raise the ceiling will cause us to default on the debt, as if it is one single sum owed to a single debt holder. Defaulting on it is made to sound like the sky is falling, as if it would be the end of the nation itself.Another category of securities are those held by government agencies, such as the Social Security "Trust Fund" and the federal pension funds. Failure to redeem one of these securities would be politically explosive, exposing the duplicitous nature of the generational theft caused by runaway spending.In fact, defaulting on one of these debts, as stupid and irresponsible as that would be, would merely cause people to reconsider the soundness of tying up their money in Treasury securities. That would cost the government more in interest payments in the future, which would probably lead to a chain reaction of inflation. On the other hand, it might lead people and institutions to invest in more productive ways, such as in the stock market.