It's not that complex.
You spend less than you take in. The people who do spend more than their intake usually end up bankrupt, losing their homes or getting their kneecap busted by Guido, the local loan shark.
Gregory is making it more 'nuanced' than it appears (and giving the US Government way too much credit). Even people like Felonious Munk understands the debt ceiling. His words, in fact are "How do you approach the ceiling without knowing you're close to the ceiling?"
He calls Bachmann's plan "Reckless" but fails to mention that the bipartisan plan that did pass ended up with the Nation being downgraded by S & P.
But it's easier to spend others people money rather than to stop the spending.