Soon, We'll Be Broke Like Greece

Unless things change, the US will be begging for help, too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2010 11:50 AM CST
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou leave after a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, Monday, March 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – America, remember the plight of George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister who arrived in Washington this week, hat in hand, as part of his world tour seeking help for his nearly bankrupt nation. Because “if current trends persist, an American president will be doing the same thing in about 10 years,” writes Dana Milbank. “He or she will probably be in Beijing, asking for more favorable interest rates.”

Greece’s national debt is 113% of GDP, a level the US is on track to hit in 2020. Papandreou is trying to cut his deficit from 12.7% of GDP to 3%, an effort that’s sparked massive protest. Were the US to make an equivalent cut, we’d have to shut down basically the entire government. Yet Washington isn't taking the crisis seriously. “Greece had to hit bottom before it acted," writes Milbank in the Washington Post. "The United States seems determined to do the same.”

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