I think the Tea Party and Scott Walker may well end up as speed bumps and footnotes – but my crystal ball also does not contain any spectacular or kinetic melt-downs. Remember the sheer inertia of the US economy, the wealth that has been created (by a system now being systematically strangled), the vestigial/inertial levels of order, control, etc.
I think CA is a fairly good model to use. The place has been turned from the most dynamic and important economic/social engine of innovation on Earth into an insolvent, poorly and nastily run place with cooked books and lawlessness reaching histrionic proportions (the full usual menu re illegals including drivers’ licenses, but now a ridiculous minimum wage and “gender optional” rules for school kids).
But no collapse. Too much good stuff that is mostly inertia – or favored sector. IT and biotech and fake, er “green” energy are favored areas of enterprise, and thus not persecuted or strangled (forestry, much commercial fishing, mining/real energy, small manufacturing, large manufacturing, certain forms of agriculture). They are profitable enough to provide some revenue; the “entertainment” sector provides some, and the “climate and beauty tax” on the prosperous who choose to live her to enjoy the spectacular natural attractions provides some more.
So no collapse. Just a grinding, inexorable decline in many respects. A hollowed out social structure with idiotic “educated” Coastal Clueless libs at the top (favored sectors, or members of the unbelievably pampered over-paid nomenklatura, which now includes not just teachers/professors and bureaucrats but even law enforcement/emergency types). In the middle – not much, a rapidly disappearing small ag and manufacturing sector. At the (explosively growing) bottom: illegals, non-assimilating Hispanic immigrants, a debilitated hard-core urban underclass to rival anything in the east or upper Midwest).
Just as the EU and really the US have been, for some time, insolvent – yet in a position to magically cook the books and print money to avoid collapse – CA has done so (no need to print money when you can violate the state const. at will, cook the books, stiff creditors, game the future liability calculations, etc.). No collapse.