As the world's largest economy, much of what happens in the United States is felt worldwide. This is why there is great concern both in the US and elsewhere over the expanding size of this country's national debt, which has now topped US$ 16 trillion and is currently expected to climb higher. Given the recent election results, it appears that much of the gridlock experienced in Washington will continue. The looming "fiscal cliff", so often discussed these days, does not appear to be going away but rather becoming a reality if Congress does not act before the end of 2012 to avert a potential double-dip recession. Genuine concerns remain on the part of most economists that action needs to be taken quickly to cut the deficit spending and/or increase revenues, or the country could indeed experience a second recession, which may in fact be more severe than the last.
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