This is the debate that is going on in Washington right now:
According to estimates by The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. will run out of money between Oct. 22 and Nov. 1, which could result in a default. Coburn disputes this, and argues that the current government shutdown is the right time for politicians to make hard choices about spending, rather than kicking the can down the line. Hence, "managed catastrophe."
In the image above, Coburn symbolically cuts a credit card that represents government spending.