NOTE: This post was written prior to the apparent deficit-reduction deal in Washington.

This post is not about assigning blame. With the debt-limit debacle still ongoing in Washington, D.C., I'm pretty sure there's plenty of blame to go around, for both the left and right.

But it's gotten a bit crazy, to say the least. As everyone knows by now, on July 28, the House of Representatives failed to vote on Rep. John Boehner's debt-limit proposal, apparently because there was insufficient Republican support for it to pass. As The Hill reports, a major sticking point for many conservatives was the bill's inclusion of $17 billion in funding for Pell Grants for college students.

Wow. I guess some people think if there's one thing worth sending the U.S. government into financial default, it's making sure we don't increase funding for college students.

At some point, it's almost like some folks are hoping for default. Which, for me, is hard to understand.

It reminds me of another recent time when some people seemed to be willing to push things to the edge, if not beyond -- the bailout of General Motors. While I can certainly understand the sentiment of not wanting to essentially reward a failing company, allowing GM to go away would've caused widespread economic damage to the nation, and made the jobs situation much worse. Even Ford CEO Alan Mulally recommended rescuing GM. And the result has been mostly positive.

Listening to the voices fervently rooting for pushing GM over the cliff, I remember thinking to myself: When did Americans start rooting against ourselves?

If the United States goes into default, it will largely be of our own choice. Right now, I still have hope that Washington politicians can come together with some sort of last-minute deal to prevent default. But I'm not sure I'd suggest holding your breath.

Of course, stay tuned to for breaking news on the debt-limit negotiations.

Also, you can read more about Southeast industry perspective on the debt-limit debate in my previous post, here.

What do you think? Please feel free to chime in.

(NOTE: For the sake of transparency, my voting record includes votes for Democrats, Republicans and third-party candidates at all levels of political office.)

Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter at @SEConstruction. I also encourage you to follow Engineering News-Record, at @ENRNews.