From Reuter’s interview with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien in August came a much fuller understanding of the forces that moved the Canadian economy from a basket case to a decade of robust growth and budget surpluses.

On Wednesday Wells Fargo released the results of its survey of 1,500 individuals between ages 25 and 75, titling it “80 is the New 65 for Many Middle Class Americans” while another study in June by three financial service non-profits showed three-quarters of those surveyed planning to work beyond age 65.

CongressBarring a miracle, the Supercommittee will announce Monday morning its failure at coming up with legislation to reduce the projected combined federal budget deficits over 10 years by $1.2 trillion, or $120 billion per year, starting in January 2013. Without enactment of these cuts, under the Budget Control Act the automatic option, called a sequester, will kick in, with $600 billion of the $1.22 trillion in cuts coming from defense spending. Social Security, Medicaid, and other low-income programs are exempt from the cuts, and cuts to Medicare would be modest.

Wall StreetExpressions of joy were muted on Wall Street at Friday's release of the latest report from the Conference Board (CB) showing its Leading Economic Index (LEI) jumping 0.9 percent in October, following just a 0.1 percent gain in September. Economic analysts had a field day trying to read the CB’s tea leaves heading into the Christmas holidays and the new year.

It’s official. The U.S. federal debt has crossed another unbelievable line: $15 trillion.

The Treasury Department reported the news on Wednesday, and various sources are reporting different figures for the level of debt person and per family.

But the discrepancies between those figures are a distinction without a difference. The United States of America is drowning in debt. And it may never recover.