Permit me a bit of Euro-wonkery on this snowy morning in Kafkaville.

Now I’m not an economist, nor do I play one on TV. But an odd thought occurred to me today.

As disturbing as the United States’ proposed USD $427 billion deficit for 2005 is, I was surprised to find out that it’s still under 3% of the gross domestic product.

US budget deficit as GDP chart

So theoretically, even though that deficit is yuge, and the 2004 deficit was at 4.5% of GDP, the US could still fulfill the most basic of the European Union’s Maastricht criteria: that budget deficits be under 3% of GDP. So theoretically, the US could join the euro with numbers like that, right?