Given they're bantering about a potential $1.2 trillion DEFICIT (not debt people) in 2009, I wanted to put that into perspective to show you just how effed we are and just how serious this financial crisis is.
As a percent of GDP, the federal deficit (assuming projections are true) would be about 9%. This is the highest peace time deficit in recorded history. The reason that is an important distinction to make is that when your country is threatened then it is probably a good reason for the government to go into deficit spending (as it did in WWI and WWII). However, even without a war (please don't tell me how much we're spending on the war on terror, it pales in comparison to WWI and WWII) we as a people have so mismanaged this country that we're now facing the worst peace time deficit. This should bring shame to the nation in that it isn't an outside force causing us to spend such an inordinate amount, but rather our revoltingly poor financial habits and insistence of being entitled little spoiled brats;
Furthermore, it gets worse for reasons thrice;
1. This is just a projection. The federal government has this nasty habit of spending more than projected, so we're more likely looking at 10-11% GDP of a deficit in 2009. Not to mention GDP will be shrinking instead of growing so your denominator will make this worse.
2. This is just the beginning. Given Obama's desire to make FDR look stingy and bribe the masses into voting for him...err...I mean..."finance hope and change" I will make the crazy prediction of the federal budget deficit actually reaching 15-17% GDP under his first (and only) term.
3. If you don't think the deficit is due to a behavioral change in people's spending habits and a testament to our sloth and laziness, just look at the trend starting in 1950 to today. As the Walt Kowolski's of the world die off and are replaced by the Jim Morrisons, Kurt Cobains and Paris Hiltons of the world, it seems nobody cares to work for what they want anymore, preferring instead to borrow the money and saddle future generations with their debts.
I'll say it again, time to get off this ship. One of my next posts will be on how any entrepreneurial country could make off like a bandit if they opened their borders to capitalist, conservatives and other right leaning political refugees from the US who tend to still insist on producing wealth.
What would Obama do without us?!