With the second week of the government shutdown in full swing, and no solutions imminent, it's a good time to step back and look at the big picture. In a nutshell, Congress couldn't agree on budget by October 1st, causing the shutdown. The main debate centers around Obamacare, which the Republicans want changed. The Democrats/Obama refuse to let the budget (or debt ceiling) be used as leverage against Obamacare, hence the impasse. Estimates show the shutdown lowering GDP by roughly 0.1% per week. In itself, it's not that big of a deal - although the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid would disagree. Now, the budget battle is being rolled into the debt ceiling debate, as the government's borrowing limit is just 10 days away. Unlike the shutdown, a US debt default could have catastrophic consequences and result in a financial markets meltdown.