In the last few weeks much has been said about how the US economy, after nearly collapsing in the Lehman aftermath has staged a gradual, if painful and very slow improvement in the last 3 years. Sure enough, After jobs peaked at an all time high of 138 million in January 2008, they then tumbled to a depression low of 129.2 million in February 2010 and beginning in September 2010 have posted 24 consecutive months of growth, rising to 133.5 million last month: a 4.25 million trough to, so far, peak. Not bad.
What, however, has received very little discussion by either presidential candidate, primarily because it is largely a byproduct of both Republican and Democratic policy and action, is what can be seen on the chart below courtesy of Diapason Securities, or the cost of said recovery - namely the New Normal angle of debt increase, which from merely steep, has mutated into beyond acute.
What is worse, is that instead of a mere one-time bump in the rate of public debt accumulation, as has happened in days past, the New post-Lehman Normal has shifted the entire curve steeper by a factor of two!
What one can also see is that the public cost of "normalization", aka the Trade Off of the new normal is an additional $4.25 trilion in debt over and above where the previous historic trendline would put total US debt, just under $12 trillion. Instead total debt is now $16.2 trillion. Oddly enough, this translates to precisely $1,000,000 per job gained or saved from the first (and certainly not last) post-crisis trough: yet another fact that will not be mentioned in either the mainstream press or any presidential debate, as sadly trading off record amounts of public debt for new jobs is the only game left in town for either party.