Experts warn that heavy U.S. debt threatens the American economy. Figures are sometimes used in misleading ways, and policymakers often look more like Cassandra than Zadig. As for the public debt, let’s use the OECD’s “general government gross financial liabilities” as a percentage of nominal GDP for comparisons across countries. After a drop to 58.3% in 2000, the U.S. debt rose again to 63.4% in 2004, and up to a forecast of 70% in 2006. In the meantime, the Euro area debt was steady around 77% for the same period, and is expected to decrease.
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