Presently the US' debt at the federal level has just crossed over GDP. This of course doesn't actually count federal obligations in the future, such as Medicare and SS, or debt at the state and lower levels, which in many cases is far worse.
There are a lot of similarities with the 70s right now, but there's one glaring difference. In the 70s debt was down around 40% or so GDP. To get debt levels comparable to now, you've got to go back into WW2. The situation is clearly unsustainable. Either action or inaction will result in continuing and widespread damage to the legitimacy and prestige of the existing order. As reactionaries, this is cause for great optimism. The US has never been able to effectively tax more than around 20% of the GDP of the country, so owing 1x GDP is, from a governmental standpoint, a lot like owing 5x one's yearly income. That would be bad bad news indeed for any sane loan officer.
Are the bond vigilantes on the way, or are they still busy in Europe?