In Washington, Republicans complain that the national debt is piling up because Democrats have unleashed an onslaught of spending in recent years.
"Democrats think that spending money that we don't have is the only way to create jobs," House Speaker John Boehner charged. "Well, guess what? We tried that. It was called the stimulus. And guess what? It didn't work."
In Europe, economists warn that years of overspending by some governments there have led to current debt problems.
It's a mess that may bring about a recession in Europe, which could easily spread to the United States and lead to a global financial crisis.
"The world is in a danger zone," World Bank President Robert Zoellick said. "In 2008, many people said they did not see the turbulence coming. Leaders have no such excuse now."
So where does the world go from here? Can America find a way to deal with national debt before the deficit causes serious damage to the economy?
Will European leaders find a way out of a debt mess that never seems to end?
These are questions that have economists and investors watching and waiting, and hoping the world doesn't fall off the financial precipice.
Mark Skousen, editor of the "Forecasts and Strategies" newsletter, appeared on "The 700 Club," Dec. 8, to discuss the economic crisis across the globe.
Skousen discusses the situation in Europe, what a default by Greece or Italy would mean for the U.S. and other countries, as well as how America can respond to work through current financial troubles.
Published Dec. 8, 2011.