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reply to post by watchitburn
A little context is needed. The more money you have, the greater debt you can carry. For that reason, the most common measures to gauge a country's debt is the debt as a percentage of GDP and budget deficit, i.e. how much more is spent than is earned as income.
For example, as a homeowner with multiple cars, my debt is much greater than a person that rents an apartment and walks to work. Does that make me fiscally irresponsible if you simply measure the size of my debt? It only becomes a problem if my expenses exceed my income.
Using debt-to-GDP, the total U.S. debt is slightly above our annual economic output. With the single largest economy in the world, we also have the highest debt.
By comparison, Japan's debt (3rd largest economy in the world) is double its GDP and Italy is close. The U.K., France and Canada are close to that mark, even fiscally responsible Germany. By comparison to the world, the U.S. debt-to-GDP (expense to revenue) is not too bad. But it does need to improve.