Other scare tactics include claiming that Medicaid or Medicare or pensions or Veterans Programs or other vital services would be cut. But again, that would be at the discretion of the executive branch. It would not be at all difficult to cut the necessary money without touching those programs, especially in the short term. You just need to find about $40 billion a month to cut - that's less than 1.5% of the total budget.
Just ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya would save enough money to keep us from going over budget for almost a year. The rest could easily be made up with smaller cuts. For example, Rand Paul has identified $42 billion we could cut from agricultural programs. That would buy us another month. He has also suggested $16 billion in cuts to the Commerce Department and $27 billion in cuts to the Department of Energy. Add those and you're close to covering the whole deficit for the year.
Congress has already raised the debt ceiling 3 times in the last two years. That level of growth in borrowing and spending is absolutely unsustainable. Right now our deficit actually seems relatively small at 15%, but projections show it ballooning to 40% of the current budget within a decade. That's what we should really be afraid of, not a cap on spending which would just necessitate some reasonable spending cuts.
The only way to stop that explosion of debt is to stop borrowing and start paying back what we already owe. The first step towards that objective is to not raise the debt ceiling. Congress and the executive branch have already shown that if you give them money they will spend it. If they cannot be responsible then maybe we can force them to control themselves by just not giving them any more money.