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The graph the Dish ran Saturday on consumer debt is not inaccurate but it is a little misleading. If you read it not in absolute terms of accumulating debt, but by annual change in debt accumulation, the growth of private debt doesn't seem quite as staggering, although the longer the period that consumer credit keeps rising, the bigger and less manageable the absolute private debt remains - and the costs of servicing it. If your own credit record contains no period of saving (below zero) and constant levels of borrowing and you continue this for decade after decade ... you need an intervention (which in some respects is what this recession is turning out to be):

Fredgraph

When you look at a graph of private sector indebtedness since 1950, you can see how the era of thrift really did collapse most profoundly in the last two decades - beginning in 1980 and growing fastest under George W. "Deficits Don't Matter" Bush. Under Bush public debt also went up again after a period of restraint in the Clinton-Gingrich years:

Growth-of-private-debt-burden

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