Chart of the Week: U.S. Debt on Track to Fuel Economic Crisis Like Greece

Greece continues to dominate the headlines as the country faces an increasingly dire economic situation and now political uncertainty as well. Prime Minister George Papandreou plans to resign once an interim government is formed, but there’s no telling if the political leadership will be able to avoid expulsion from the euro zone.

Greece’s troubles might seem a world away from what the United States is experiencing, but a new report and video from the Joint Economic Committee suggest the two countries have troubling similarities. (Click to watch.)

Here’s how Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) put it:

It is tempting for Americans to take comfort in the belief that the size and strength of the U.S. economy will protect us from the consequences now facing Greece, but no nation is exempt from the basic laws of mathematics and economics.  A closer inspection of the Greek crisis suggests that the United States may not be far behind on the road to ruin and we ignore the lessons of Greece at our own peril.

As the above chart from Heritage’s 2011 Budget Chart Book shows, the United States is rapidly increasing its share of publicly held debt as a percentage of the economy. Projections put the United States on a path to reach the same levels as other troubled countries in a matter of years.

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Source material can be found at this site.

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