In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.The health-care bills on Capital Hill right now, as written, come across as a form of financial madness under the circumstances. But what do we do when facing 10.2 percent unemployment? Paul Krugman says spend. But with what money -- and on what projects? We're definitely in an historic, first-class jam right now.
The potential for rapidly escalating interest payouts is just one of the wrenching challenges facing the United States after decades of living beyond its means.