This stress build-up is engineered by recession, unemployment rates, energy rates, food prices, rent, and control over the mass media. It's not a difficult undertaking when so few have control over so much.
They were banking on enough public stress to start a war with Syria. Well, it didn't work so if House Democrats have enough votes for a discharge petition to get the budget to the floor for a vote, bypassing Speaker Boehner, they could do it, but I suspect by the echoing sound of nails being hammered into a coffin of a certain political party that they might be holding off on that.
They better not wait too long or the fight over the Debt Ceiling will shatter the global market's confidence in the U.S. Dollar, but something is off this time. The stock market is not reacting like it's usual high-strung incontinent self. It's behaving more and more like a single entity, a behemoth waiting to see the whites in the eyes of gullible borrowers.
The Market's reaction to the government shutdown was counter-intuitive to previous similar events according to Bloomberg Business Week: The Market Calm Before the Debt-Ceiling Storm (10/04/2013) The markets may have gained confidence since the previous debt-ceiling extravaganza, or they figured a way to profit from the crisis and are on a hair-trigger.
Either way it might not matter if we are destroyed by the debris field of the comet ISON.