In the words of both former US Comptroller General, David Walker, and former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, "The United States is currently on an unsustainable path."
This is what they were talking about; our current economic and fiscal reality:
Projected 2009 GDP = $14 trillion (caveat: GDP decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, after declining by 6.3 in the fourth quarter of 2008)
In April of 2008, the US National Debt was $9.4 trillion
In April of 2009, the US National Debt was $11.25 trillion (that's 80% of GDP, the highest percentage since Harry Truman was president)
2009 budget deficit = $1.84 trillion
2010 federal budget = $3.4 trillion, 1/3 of which is financed
2010 budget deficit = $1.26 trillion
Existing 2009 budget deficit, plus next year's deficit ($1.84 trillion + $1.26 trillion) = $3.10 trillion
Based on CBO estimates, the national debt will exceed $14 trillion in 2012
But, based on some rather simple math, this will actually happen next year ($11.25 trillion + $3.10 trillion = $14.35 trillion). That would put the National Debt at 100% of GDP for the first time since WWII.
In Fiscal Year 2008, the U. S. Government spent $451 Billion of our money on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt. This year, with the debt even higher, the government will spend even more than $451 billion servicing our debt.
28% of our total debt (and more than half our publicly held debt) is held by foreigners or foreign governments, the highest percentage since the 19th Century
The interest expense paid on the National Debt is the fourth largest expense in the federal budget. Only Medicare-Medicaid ($739b), Social Security ($700b), and Defense ($657b) are higher.
Interest payments on the debt do not benefit taxpayers in any way. We get nothing in return.
We are simply exchanging our economic crisis for a debt crisis.
Does any of this seem sustainable to you?