Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid
I am not genetically predisposed to believe reports that the sky is falling. Part of that is inheiriting a cyncial nature. Another part is having grown up in a fundamentalist church in the 1970s and being exposed to a constant stream of reminders that the world was going to end any minute. I vividly remember the breathless excitement with which it was announced that the buzzards in the Holy Land were laying twice as many eggs as usual (Revelation foretells that buzzards will eat the bodies after the battle of Armageddon and they're going to need a lot of buzzards!) and this surely indicated that the time was getting short! Then too, I remember the science scares of my teen years--after all the next Ice Age is going to start soon if we don't do something right now. (Boy how that one has changed.)
But...this is truly scary. I keep up with government economics pretty closely, and I knew it was bad, but not this bad. The actual deficit last year, if you use standard rather than government accounting was ten times larger than the reported deficit. The long term implications of this "off the books" accounting are ugly. Economist John Maynard Keynes said, "In the long run, we're all dead." He may have been more right than he knew.