Once again, the folks at the Washington Post have put together another excellent, informative graphic. This time, it's an interactive feature on the Output Gap. (What's that?)
The output gap is the difference between potential and actual economic growth. During the Internet-fueled 1990s, the economy danced on top of potential GDP. In the recession, we're swimming way, way below that line. Because of the downturn, the economy is producing $1 trillion under its potential.