OffBeat

This is what the ‘fiscal cliff’ looks like (infographic)

2012 may not mark the end of the world, but it may signal a nasty end to the perhaps not great — but also not terrible — economic malaise of the United States.

In 2013, unless changed by bipartisan legislation, two things are mandated to happen. One is the automatic expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which should increase tax revenue by about 20 percent. Another is the beginning of a $1 trillion nine-year slashfest from the federal budget. Together, some say, that could cost about a million jobs in the U.S. and send the country off its already-precarious economic rails into a recession.

The goal is a reduction of the national debt and elimination of the federal deficit. But how does the U.S. debt stack up against other countries?

It is certainly the biggest national debt on the planet, at $15.5 trillion dollars. That’s more than the gross domestic product, and slightly higher than Japan’s $13.5 trillion debt. And the difference between the U.S.’s external debts and assets is over $4 trillion.

Here’s an infographic put together by Liam Fisher of IronFX that shows how the U.S. debt stacks up globally:

photo credit: ‘Ajnagraphy’ via photopin cc

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