Raising the debt ceiling does not add any new spending it simply allows the government to pay its existing bills. Not paying our bills is fiscally irresponsible and everyone knows it. The GOP knows it as well as anyone. They are simply using the threat as a way to try and force an outcome they desire (slashing social assistance programs).
Being that the country provides assistance to a lot of its citizens, not paying the bills might mean some of this assistance will be impacted. That sort of thing has an actual and real affect on people. Describing the potential reality that might result from an action is not a "scare tactic." It's just reality. being frightened or not frightened by it is up to you.
Until he physically begins erecting barriers and herding us into pens I refuse to accept this ridiculous notion that he is somehow "splitting our country." There is nothing wrong with having disagreements with one another as long as we remain adults about it and try to work through those differences. The GOP in this case are the recalcitrant ones. Not Obama.