The NYT headlined a section that gave some facts on the size of the debt, its holders, and the reaching of the debt ceiling, "Charting the American Debt Crisis." Actually, there is no debt crisis. Investors were willing to lend the U.S. government trillions of dollars at very low interest rates. There is no evidence that this was about to change any time soon. The United States and other countries have had much higher debt burdens and still faced no problem borrowing.
The problems at the moment stem from the refusal of Congress to raise the debt ceiling. This would be like a family where one member burned the check book (assuming no Internet banking). The problem is arranging to get new checks, not that there is no money in the account. The NYT should be able to keep this straight.