One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me to calm down when I haven't been un-calm. Saying, "Calm down" just makes me less calm, in fact.
But there are times, clearly, when advice like that is entirely appropriate. This is one of those times. So, America-- calm down. Panicking over the country's debt issues is so GOP ago.
And in case there was still any doubt: We. Are. Not. Greece. Clear? Unless, of course, Republicans continue to insist on austerity measures and block common sense legislation.
But for now, we still have time and we can do this.
Listening to the political shouting match and seeing Washington lurch from one fiscal crisis to another, one might think the federal budget deficit is the economic equivalent of a giant meteor hurtling toward America, about to hit any day.
The reality is quite different. In fact, the debt is probably not even the country's biggest economic challenge, most experts say, and certainly not the most urgent.
The evidence shows that the country is on a course of spending and debt accumulation that could lead to serious trouble not today or tomorrow but probably 10 to 20 years down the road.
What the evidence does not show is that such a crisis is close at hand or that the U.S. is in any imminent danger of turning into an economic basket case like present-day Greece.
Moreover, financial experts agree that although America's burgeoning healthcare costs pose huge long-term challenges for the budget, the nation's debt could most likely be controlled for at least the next decade by making a series of relatively moderate policy changes. Those changes, although perhaps unwelcome, would not require drastic adjustments in the lives of most Americans.
As the article notes, the economy is still growing and inflation is under control, plus our credit standing is still strong and we have control over our currency, unlike the Eurozone.
So breathe, America. Breathe.