There's no shortage of depressing numbers in the news  today, but one set of numbers in particular deserves to be flagged. That's USA Today's assessment  of how much the average American family owes thanks to our national debt.
Thanks to the federal government's intense spending to stave off economic collapse, the average American household owes another $55,000, to a $546,668 share in the national debt and future obligations, according to the newspaper's calculations.
But the bank bailouts and economic stimulus packages are only part of the problem. That's a short-term strategy, there don't seem to be any good alternatives, and as long as the economy turns around, we can get away with it. The outlook for Medicare and Social Security continues to get worse , and over the long term the federal budget remains unsustainable .
Of course, the implications of the national debt are different than personal debt. No one's going to foreclose on the White House or send the repo men after Air Force One. But the federal government is overextended, just as lots of businesses and families have been. That could turn into the financial crisis after this one, unless we start taking this seriously.