In response to:

As Debt Explodes, Greek 'Universal' Healthcare System Melts Down

Greg2653 Wrote: Jun 19, 2012 10:41 AM
In the old days, before the housing mess, a person making $50k a year would not get a mortgage for 3 times his salary, let alone more than that. Banks simply didn't do that. The rule was 2.5x one's salary. And it was typically a 30-year fixed mortgage, meaning that 1) a person knew exactly what the payment would be, 2) it would not increase unless the homeowner refinanced, and 3) the debt would go down year after year until it was paid off. Given that our national debt is largely (80%) financed with short-term bonds, we don't know what we'll be paying in 2 years because interest rates could and will go up and we are adding to the debt every day, not paying it down. So, your analogy is an epic fail across the board.
mistermilo Wrote: Jun 19, 2012 11:29 AM
I worked real estate way in the past. FHA rule of thumb 28% for PITI. War story from the 50s. I wanted to buy a home for $!5,900 in 1959. (Yes Henry, that is how the dollar has changed). 3 BR ranch. After down payment, my Princ, int, tax, ins payment was to be $165. I worked a revolving shift and made a little bit more than base pay each month. My wages certified by my company were base wages and came up at $161 at the 28% formula. I had to go back to my company and get a letter about the shift premium before the bank would grant the loan.

Today, all I would need to say is "no speak inglese'" and bingo! I get the loan.

Greece appears to have staved off fiscal annihilation for the moment, yet its fiscal death march into oblivion continues apace.  Other major Eurozone players have spent themselves into similarly precarious positions.  Here in the US, our gross national debt has surpassed 100 percent of GDP, and the CBO is warning anyone who will listen that very dark days lie ahead unless significant action is taken -- and soon.  Last summer, our national credit rating was downgraded for the first time ever, due to the lack of will in Washington to adequately address our own looming...