That was yesterday. Tomorrow is here. The twin deficits are worse than ever today. The trade deficit in December 2011 widened despite the current Administration's stated goal of doubling exports by 2015 or whenever. Maybe they also meant that imports should quadruple in the same time period so our trade deficit can continue unabated. The federal budget deficit is also persistently large despite the political theater of Super Committees and debt ceiling fights. The warnings about the harm these deficits would do to our economy went unheeded. Now America suffers from wide-scale structural unemployment partly hidden by statistical tricks; the transfer of value-added manufacturing capability to strategic competitors; and a growing willingness among our largest trading partners to use anything but the U.S. dollar as a means of exchange.
America is about as serious as Greece when it comes to impulse control. No ambitious country ever overspent its way to dominance but every former empire overspent itself into decline. Partisans can nitpick over whether the absolute deficit numbers recorded by the current Administration are comparable to the percentages of national debt added by previous administrations. Such a debate is akin to arguing over whether more lifeboats should have been installed while the Titanic is sinking. A good debate could start by examining countries with healthy economies to see if low debt-to-GDP ratios are a factor in their success. I am a patriotic American. I care enough to keep sounding the alarm.