In 2000, state and local governments collectively owed $1.5 trillion (adjusted for inflation to 2009 dollars). Today, they owe $2.3 trillion, a 53 percent increase.

Over the same time period, American consumers and homeowners hiked their own debt by 55 percent, and pretty much bankrupted the world’s economy doing it. (OK, it wasn’t all their fault.)

Data source: Federal Reserve.

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