We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'm not disagreeing with the data or the conclusion they drew but I think that they made a classic mistake. It is not much different then begining a climate model at the peak of a cold cycle and then coming to the conclusion that we have global warming and the model predicts increasing temperatures forever. We are in a recession and possibly we are in a depression. Wages, wealth and economic prosperity for most is in a decline. Looking at this in a vacuum makes it look worse but this is what happens in a recession. There are/were things that the middle class could have done to mitigate the effects of a recession but most either choose to ignore the signs or are simply ignorant of what is going on in the world. I know people who can't buy toilet paper and run out of food at the end of their monthly food stamp allotment but can still buy a pack of cigarettes every day and a six pack of beer and a bottle of wine every night.
I would suggest it is also the biggest redistribution of wealth from the citizenry to government ever.
How can we have a long term economic recovery when our ruling masters are stealing an ever increasing percentage of our disposable income?
Higher and higher taxes and inflation, coupled with flat wages looks like disaster to me. Throw in the government mandated, sky high insurance rates to rob us of yet more disposable income and the future does not look the tiniest bit rosy.
I was reading John Mauldin's newsletter (http://www.mauldineconomics.com/) and had a revelation of sorts (at least it was the first time I had heard of it). His newsletters have warning about the problem of too much debt, etc. and that in the not too distant future, there will be an "End Game" where many of those dislocations will be resolved. Even so, he's generally optimistic as was this letter. But at the beginning he mentioned demographics and it occurred to me that the greatest wealth transfer will eventually be from the young to the old (certainly this has already started).
With the aging of the baby boomers and no new type of boomers to take their place a smaller number of people will be around to pay this massive debt. Add that to the fact that Social Security and Medicare are already starting to bite younger workers and that bite will only increase. Leftist plans to address these entitlements (basically do nothing) hurt the young a lot (there is a war on the young) and the Right's plans to address them just screw the young less.
I'm afraid that the only way out is to repudiate at least part of the debt and that will hurt the value of all the currencies of the West and Japan and redound to the benefit of China and other emerging economies with less debt.
The situation right now is that we're about 10 feet from being swept over Niagara Falls, and the government still wants you to believe everything is fine (at least it will be so until after the election). Or if it's not fine, it's the fault of Someone Else other than themselves.