The only other potential way around the debt ceiling is the 14th amendment argument. Pelosi and Bill Clinton have both said they would invoke the 14th amendment to declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional, and start borrowing the money needed to pay bills unless the courts stopped them.
Obama apparently considered that option, but late last year he said that he is not convinced that the 14th amendment allows him to do that. The question is, what is a "debt" under the 14th amendment? Does it include future spending authorized by congress? The right (and Obama, apparently) say no, it only applies to money already borrowed (though if our income was ever less than the debt service, then I guess Obama could ignore the debt ceiling, but thats not even close to being the case)
Under that interpretation, Obama is required to pay the debt service by any means necessary, but once thats done its apparently up to him to decide who doesn't get paid, and he can choose not to pay whoever the hell he feels like to balance the budget.
Since the Republicans would likely get blamed for it, I'm guessing Obama will not pay a portion of medicare, maybe also delay income tax refunds, and let the GOP hang for it.
<ptp> how many emo kids does it take to change a lightbulb?
<Willy> HOW MANY?!
<ptp> none they just sit in the dark and cry