Last week, Keith Hall, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told Congress that the United States could be facing a Greek-style debt crisis down the road.
“Unfortunately,” Hall testified, “there is no way to predict confidently whether or when such a fiscal crisis might occur in the United States… . But all else being equal, the larger a government’s debt, the greater the risk of a fiscal crisis.”
That’s not exactly a ringing vote of confidence.

Obviously there are big differences between the U.S. and Greece. Our economy is far bigger and more diverse. Most of our debt is held by Americans and American institutions, while Greek debt is mostly held by foreigners (although an alarming 34 percent of U.S. debt is foreign-held, including 7 percent each by China and Japan). And, most important, we control our own currency and monetary policy, unlike the Greeks, who are in thrall to the European Central Bank. If nothing else, we always have the option of devaluing our currency, an option the Greeks lack as long as they remain in the eurozone.
That said, we have far too much in common with the Greeks for comfort.