These 2 graphs illustrate the fundamental problem with the US Economy: http://www.geocities.com/fishypaper/budgetchart.bmp http://www.geocities.com/fishypaper/deficit.bmp (cut&paste the links) On the budget chart you can see that the lions share of your tax dollars goes to 3 agencies: Defense, Interest on the accumulated debt , and taking care of old people. When the Republicans talk about 'big government' they're basically talking about all those departments that have the little bars, but not the military. When Reagan took office he chops the tops off all those little departments like Dept of veterans affairs, Dept. of Education, Transportation, and Urban Development and puts it into Defense; he then borrows more money causing the deficit to balloon (as you can see from the deficit pict. So although the economy cooks, the % of the budget that has to go toward servicing the debt gets bigger and bigger. Meanwhile the nations commercial manufacturing sector withers as the country concentrates on manufacturing military equipment and the rest of the world manufactures everything else, but everyone is happy for a while. Then Bush I takes over, country is in recession, he cuts some of the defense budget (due to end of Cold War) and the recession drags. In the Keynesian economic model the government borrows money when recession hits and stimulates the economy, but the deficit is already too high so we're stuck, then Clinton comes in and things bottom out, then we have tech boom and Clinton increases military spending again and we have a huge surplus-Yeah! But then tech goes bust and Bush II takes over; outsourcing tech jobs, continued decline of commercial manufacturing, Bush runs a record deficit and gets embroiled in the expensive Iraq quagmire, trade deficits mean more borrowing, inflation rises. Now the future: The % of the budget that goes to service the debt keeps getting bigger, eventually it will reach 50% of the tax collection! The US is eventually forced out of the endless Iraq situation and is forced to cut defense spending, unemployment rises and with it discontent, the 'baby-boomers' start requiring more money. S. California is the most vulnerable, having lost it's auto and commercial airplane manufacturing, unemployment is high and the cost of living ridiculous, the government cuts military manufacturing jobs-which is the only manufacturing left in SoCal, the retail sector suffers. The state which has all the resources to become it's own country and is more liberal and ethnic then the rest of the USA, decides to quit paying all this money to the Feds and insists on having a common-wealth relationship with the rest of the country, Texas soon follows and the USA becomes similar to the CIS which is what became of the Soviet Union.. Is this possible?