A Washington Post article today anticipates Bush will call for a balanced budget by 2012 in his upcoming State of the Union address. Many are called but few are balanced.
A sidebar shows a figure from the OMB indicating the current deficit is not so large by historical standards, only -1.8% of the gross domestic product. The WWII (with a peak of -30%!) and the Reagan years were much worse.
Cruising the net to try to understand a bit better where these numbers come from I ran across this poster representation of the Federal Budget:
You might have to install some software to see the poster, but try clicking on 'View Poster'.
Well, I thought it was pretty cool so I ordered one. The shear scale and complexity are worth keeping in mind. Send one to your congressman & put one in every classroom in the country!