Editorial: A World of Debt

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(WOIO) - The attention of the nation these days is fixed, not surprisingly, on the oil spill in the Gulf. But what is happening this spring in the world's economies should be of even greater concern. Decades of government spending on social welfare programs has left a dozen European nations mired in debt with deficits so large that the international monetary fund warned this week that the risks to the global economy have risen dramatically.

Britain's new Prime Minister warned Monday that his country's financial situation was even worse than originally thought and that the country would have to make savage spending cuts in order to corral a swelling deficit. Meanwhile, while all of this is occurring across the pond, the United States is on a domestic spending spree unprecedented in the nation's history. Our government's total debt rose past thirteen trillion dollars for the first time this month. And predictions are that the debt will surpass our annual GDP- the gross domestic product - in just two years.

In plain language, folks, that means that come 2012, we will owe more than we are worth.   The European countries that spent like drunken sailors for decades to build their welfare states must now pay the piper and with that remittance will come plenty of pain. Unless we change course - and soon - we too will find ourselves in the same precarious pickle.

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