CHICAGO (CBS) — Congress and President Barack Obama have three weeks before the nation’s debt limit must be raised, lest the country start to default on its obligations.

But a University of Chicago economist says essentially, don’t sweat it, for a couple of reasons.

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LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, Professor Allen Sanderson says first of all, it will not happen.

“They were playing, like, a rock-paper-scissors, and agree to simultaneously blink at the same time to save face,” he said.

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He says the government’s position would be easy for many families to understand.

“Which bills are we going to pay? Are we going to pay the mortgage this month? Are we going to pay the dental bill? Are we going to pay the MasterCard bill?” he said.

Sanderson says few would notice a difference if the government defaulted – Social Security would get paid, the military would get paid, and parks might close for a while and tax refunds would be slow – but he’s not counting on it..

“It’s a game of political chicken more than economic chicken,” he said.

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Sanderson says he is confident that Congress will come up with a debt limit agreement before the Aug. 2 deadline.