That's how much we'll owe next year at the current rate of spending coupled with the current rate of revenue decline due our crippled and nearly-bankrupt economy.
We can no longer find a given politician or political party to hang this on. This profligate spending has been going on for so long that we're all responsible for the current economic collapse. We don't have the ability to spend out way out of this mess, because we've been borrowing so heavily against the future for so long we've run out of time - the future is now. We've spent it all, and then some.
It's not just the national debt we have to worry about, but the large overhanging personal debt we've wracked up since the 1980's, when we first elected Ronald Reagan and we learned that greed was good.
You continue to see the results of the ongoing Great Recession in spite of the tepid "recovery", a "recovery" that is in danger of becoming a double-dip recession. Buildings have lain empty since January of 2009 (the one above since I first photographed it, right across from Universal Orlando, since February 2009). If businesses do crash, then the follow-ons have a pretty good chance of crashing as well. As I drive through the neighborhoods around where I work as well as where I live, I see houses with for-sale signs that have been up for 18 months or longer. The jobs, where they're available, are part time. Shopping malls are still showing large vacancies, and what is open have fairly thin crowds.
I have no idea when this will end. But with the insane level of debt we have accumulated and the way human nature is right now, it will be decades before this issue is resolved, if ever. I wonder if I'll live long enough to see the economy return to the levels I grew up with, let alone something I can be proud to leave my girls.
Olympus E-3, Zuiko Digital 9-18mm 1:4-5.6