The Tea Party has the fascinating habit of doing things that have the opposite effect of what they claim to care about. They say they are defenders of the little guy, but their policies consistently favor the rich over the poor.
Now they are boldly threatening to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. To their minds this probably sounds like a good way to force those undisciplined government workers to hold down costs. In fact what they have managed to do is to convince ratings agencies to downgrade the quality of U.S. debt instruments. What does this mean in real-world terms? It means that the U.S. will have to pay higher interest rates. It means that government spending will go up, and consequently the U.S. deficit will get worse.
That is fine for the puppet masters behind the Tea Party. They love for the debt to get worse because it is their most effective excuse to eliminate more programs that help the poor so that they can lower taxes for the rich. They will also certainly mis-direct the blame for this rate increase; they will use it as an opportunity to demagogue about how government spending is causing inflation.