Exit Polls and the Economy

March 7, 2012

After yesterday’s round of primaries, exit polling confirms that the economy still remains the number one issue on voters’ minds as reported in The New York Times. Despite recent positive signs for the economy, many voters still feel as though the economy is struggling.  It is easy to understand why voters are concerned with things like rising gas prices, lower wages for younger employees and the increasingly dire situation in Greece and how it affects us.

On Monday, largely due to fears of a complicated and chaotic default in Greece, the markets plummeted. The DOW Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 saw the largest drops in stock prices in three months. Though the obvious connection of global markets is evident when events like this occur, the connection of how Greece has found itself in this situation and our own growing fiscal calamities is not made.  Today, President Obama told the Business Roundtable (an association of CEOs), “This is not a situation analogous to Greece…”. But exactly how not “analogous” is Greece to our situation?

  • Both countries have a Debt to GDP ratio exceeding their GDP.
  • Greece’s Debt per capita: $35,874.25 United States: $37,952.73
  • Greece’s Annual Debt Change: 4.7% United States: 13.9%
  • Greece’s Current Public Debt: $394,915,616,438 United States: $15,499,023,629,682.44

The President’s comments followed a proposal to increase spending on infrastructure and education, while reforming the tax code to include a larger base.

The connection between an unsustainable national debt and the burden it places upon economic growth is playing out in Greece now, but the lesson has not been learned here in Washington. (Click here to view Public Notice Research and Education Fund’s Washington Could Learn A lot Greece Ad) Without real cuts to spending to reduce our deficit, we can only look to Greece as a foreshadowing future.

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