1. For seventy-two of the last hundred years, the government has spent more than it has taken in. 2. And over the last fifty years, the government has run deficits forty-four of those years: thats 88%! 3. Over the last ten years, deficits in nine. Historical Tables | The White House 4. There seem to be only two ironclad rules of government: Rule no.1: Always try to expand; Rule no. 2: see Rule no. 1. Beck, Balfe, Broke, p. 115 5. How does the Obama fiscal policy impact our future? Well, debt is significant for several reasons.. a. In 2010, these interest payments (net of some interest income) will claim $209 billion, or about 6 percent of the budget. Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go? — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities b. Based on future ability to pay its debts, each nation is give a rating. The big three agencies are Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poors. What they do is assess how likely a borrower is to be able to repay its debts and help those trading debt contracts in the secondary market. Debt crisis: how Fitch, Moody's and S&P rate each country's credit rating. Visualised - with a spreadsheet. UPDATED | World news | guardian.co.uk. c. The costs of borrowing are contingent on the rating. Currently the US is listed as AAA, Stable and this keeps the interest costs of borrowing low. Recently, for example, Greece was downgraded to BB+, Negative, and the cost of its debt rose to over three time that of the US. d. Moodys warned that if the U.S. credit rating was at risk if economic growth was slower than the Obama administration projects. US credit rating at risk, Moody's warns - Telegraph And this is an administration fraught with bogus calculations! e. JUPITER, FL--(Marketwire - May 10, 2010) - Weiss Ratings, an independent rating agency covering the nation's financial institutions, issued a challenge today to Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch: To downgrade the long-term sovereign debt of the United States in order to help protect investors and prod Washington to fix its finances. Weiss Ratings Challenges S&P, Moody's and Fitch to Downgrade Long-Term U.S. Debt 6. The International Monetary Fund, the IMF, recent report on Gross Financial Needs, figures out how much money each nation needs to raise each year based on deficit, and maturity length of existing bonds; i.e. dependent on issuing new debt. The US is second worst of all advanced economies, needing 32.2% of GDP just to keep everything going [table 6, page 23]! Compare to the nations we read about in trouble: Greece is 21.5%, Portugal 21.8%, and Spain 20.7%. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fm/2010/fm1001.pdf How about some 'hope and change'?