Read these two stories: Wonkbook: On debt, the conventional wisdom vs. the markets - The Washington Post America Is Not Exceptional - NYTimes.com As much as the politicians in Washington are telling us that doom is imminent if spending is not gutted, the risk of holding US bonds is very low: A country that is about to default would have extremely high interest rates, and yields for its bonds would be through the roof. Our national debt, the hawks like to point out, is $15.1 trillion. Believe it or not, that is actually manageable, especially considered as a percentage of GDP. Could it be that some politicians and pundits are exploiting this number just to advance their political goals. Make the electorate think that the reason that unemployment is 9% is those nasty welfare recipients. Why shouldn't we try to spend our way out of this? Yes, the stimulus package passed a few years ago was ineffective, but could it be because the original one was too small and poorly designed? To those of you who say this is totally off base: what do you think that our real interest rate is telling us about our economy?