Contra Matt, I’ve never really been a huge fan of looking at spending or budget figures through the prism of “as a % of GDP.” For one thing, it’s a two variable metric, which mean a change could come from 2 places. Also, the idea of looking at the deficit as a % of the GDP doesn’t really make sense to me, because the government doesn’t own all GDP. It’s certainly a nice way of putting differences between 2 countries into perspective, but using it just to compare our own year to year shortfall is akin to calculating your debt as a % of the earnings of your zip code.