economist.com – Oct 2nd 2013, 23:50 by G.I. | WASHINGTON, DC THIS WEEK much of America’s government shut down when Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on a budget. Soon, America will hit a more disruptive deadline: its statutory debt ceiling. What is it, and why does it matter? The first thing to clarify is that a government shutdown due to failure to pass a budget and a shutdown due to failure to raise the debt ceiling are different things with different implications.