Phil Levy explains:

It's always a challenge to put large budget numbers in perspective, but Europe has a benchmark for when a country is going astray: a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP and debt/GDP of 60 percent of GDP. Under the Obama budget, the U.S. deficit never dips below 4 percent of GDP. The standard prediction for a country with uncontrolled borrowing would be a bout of inflation, rising interest rates, and currency depreciation. None of these would be good for foreigners holding U.S. debt.

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