Our current national budget debate reminds me of a quote from Charles Dickens in David Copperfield:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six,
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six,
Jeffrey Sachs posted a fascinating piece in The Huffington Post Sunday, in which he applied a "misery index" to the economies of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.
He was kind enough to also post his data, so I downloaded it, and created the following chart:
Sach's "Misery Index" is the sum of the unemployment rate, the budget deficit, and current account deficit (broadly meaning more imports than exports) of each country—represented by the black diamonds on the chart.