WASHINGTON - If Washington fails to come up with a budget agreement by August 2, the government will immediately owe some $370 billion in bills with only $170 billion to pay them off.
The projected shortfall has roiled Washington for weeks in dramatic on-again, off-again talks to raise the amount of money the government can borrow.
And with no deal in sight, Republicans and Democrats are busy playing blame game.
Obama vs. Boehner
The most powerful Democrat and Republican took to the airwaves Monday night to explain why the two sides can't reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
"We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," President Barack Obama said during his address.
Charles Dunn, a distinguished professor of government at Regent University, analyzed both addresses on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, July 26. Watch below.
Obama blamed Republican partisanship for failing to compromise on a debt deal that would cut spending and raise taxes.
Offering a primetime rebuttal, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the current crisis is the president's own doing.
"The sad truth is the president wanted a blank check six months ago and he wants a blank check now," Boehner said.
One of the main sticking points is how long the debt extension would last.
Democrats are demanding a deal that would go past next year's elections, but Boehner's plan only lasts into early 2012.
The White House was threatening to veto, but now seems to be backing off.
"There was no evidence that he has a plan," Boehner said. "He doesn't like our plan, but he has not put a plan forward yet."
Another plan proposed by the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would cut $2.7 trillion over the next 10 years in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
The White House and congressional Democrats are starting to see the plan as the most viable option.
Reid said his plan is "everything the Republicans have demanded wrapped up in a bow and delivered to their door."
Still, the race to outrun America's soaring debt has gone from an obstacle course to a minefield.
And with no agreement in sight, it looks increasingly likely that the government will be strapped for cash by this time next week.