It's not just the US. Things aren't quite that bad in the UK; here we are only 146 billion in the red. Taking into account the US has five times the population of the UK that equates to 730 billion by US population standards.
So do these guys in government know what they are doing? Ask 'the 99%' and the answer will be a resounding 'NO!'
So what could we do about this? It seems simple to me - we change the form of government so that people who actually know what they are doing run the country instead. After all the last person who should be given the job of President or Prime Minister is the egomaniac who wants to do the job and tries to convince us that although he/she is not qualified, we should elect them.
So here's my suggestion. Make a selection of the top five industrialists - those that make the most profit and tell them it's their duty to run the country on our behalf for the next four years.
"...but what about democracy?" I hear you say. No problem. Allow the candidates selected to campaign and we then use standard election procedures to make the final choice. Of course there will be one subtle difference. None of the candidates will want the job and will therefore campaign for their opponents instead of themselves. As a result there will be no 'mud slinging' and no need for campaign fund raising. (Believe it or not but all these
How about local government? Use the same method, just apply the requirements on a local scale.
What incentives should we offer these people? If they do a good job and the electorate feel their lives have improved then we'll undertake never to elect them again! Fail and they still could be elected for a second chance.
The bad news is there's one tiny fly in the ointment. To modify government like this would require our current politicians to accept it. There is NO WAY they will ever vote themselves out and we are stuck with the present system.