Washington Post: Kabul, AFGHANISTAN - A NATO helicopter was shot down during an overnight operation against the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. service members, including about 20 SEALs from the elite SEAL Team 6 counterrorism unit that carried out the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, the coalition said....A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter said the aircraft was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Nicholas Schmidle: Getting Bin Laden
Jonathan Capehart: The Tea Party Isn’t Interested in Governing
Steven Leningston: Beware of Dangerous Politicians
Extreme Liberal: The Debt Hostage Crisis And Paul Krugman’s Political Naiveté
Michael Muskal: Two Republicans Rethink Racially Tinged Remarks
The New Deal: Thank a Union: 36 Ways Unions Have Improved Your Life
Jason Whitely: Slave Cemetery Revealed by Texas Drought
The Rude Pundit: Why Michelle Malkin Should Be Caged Like a Rabid Shih Tzu (Teacher Edition)
Chez Pazienza: Fight or Flight
Getting the Economy Growing Faster
Friday, August 5, 2011
School Districts Must Implement Multiple Intervention Programs for the Sake of Our Children, Parents, and Society - Part II
POSTED BY DESERT CRONE
In Wednesday’s post I discussed some of my own background and that of the Student Assistance System (SAS). Also, I explained how the program was financed. This post will take you through the creation of a SAS school-based assessment and intervention teams. Subsequent posts will also discuss the nuts and bolts of other aspects of a SAS. My hope is that parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, or anyone interested in the welfare of children will be able to use these posts as a guide to creating a SAS in their districts.
As I stated in the first post, I was prompted to write this series by the decision of the Obama administration to investigate and possibly eliminate disciplinary policies that prevent students from receiving an education, punitive actions such as expulsion from school or extensive stays in detention or in-school suspension,. The Dept. of Justice refers to these disciplinary actions as “Schools to Prisons.” My impression after reading the report is that it lacks an early intervention piece, a method to identify students well before the serious misbehavior begins. The beauty of the SAS is that at-risk students are identified early and receive prevention services. Another benefit of an SAS is the reduction of discipline problems in the classroom, allowing the teacher to focus on academics rather than classroom management. Most importantly is the fact that countless lives of children and teens will be saved and families healed.
Before any SAS is put into place, CARE Teams need to be trained and established at every school. These teams are not to be confused with academic assessment teams. While the CARE Teams are drawing up the most effective referral, assessment, and intervention plans for their schools, other staff should be going through the SAS training so every school has a handful of SAS advocates. Eventually, every single person on the staff, from the principal to the custodian should be trained.
Once the CARE Teams are in place and the faculty educated on the purpose of the team, every staff person should be given blank referral forms. The referral form should focus on risky behaviors only, not speculation about students’ alcohol/drug use. Referrals can come from any staff member. They simply fill out the referral form and give it to a team member. In the meantime the CARE Teams need to identify and train staff who would make good student group facilitators.
Additionally, each team needs to identify all the referral services in the community and the school district. Remember that the function of the CARE Teams is not to serve as a referral system for students with learning difficulties but only for students with behavioral problems. Of course, both issues do go hand-in-hand more often than not. Frequently, the two different teams should meet and discuss the students who have been referred to both teams and assign students to one team or the other or work jointly on particular students. Again, training of staff should continue, but I will discuss the details of the training in Part III. Initially many teachers on the staff who will complain about the extra paperwork (and who can blame them) will experience a complete turnaround after the training. Garnering support of 90% or more of a school’s staff guarantees the success of the SAS at every school.
Soon student referrals will come into the CARE Team, and members will hand deliver the one-page behavior check list to every one of the student’s teachers plus school secretaries, nurse, counselor, aids, and custodians. Secrecy about the referrals is repeatedly stressed to the staff as well as the need to avoid speculation about reasons for a referral. Other members will check current academic progress as well as checking on the history of the student’s academic performance. Others will look into the disciplinary records of every referred student and interview the school counselor, nurse, and principal for family history and insights into the student’s behavior, attitude, etc. Students who are referred are assigned a case manager within the team so it is likely that team members will certainly have more than one student.
After as much personal information is collected, a file is opened on the student and a case manager is assigned. The CARE Team has a locked, fire-proof file cabinet, and the key is in the possession of the team leader. Absolutely no one but team members will have access to the files. If a student leaves the district, the file is shredded. Otherwise, the file moves from school to school as the student moves until s/he no longer needs SAS services or graduates from high school. Team members strictly follow HIPPA guidelines and never discuss students outside of the team meetings. In fact, one difficulty team members will face is questioning by staff about progress of the student’s referral or the final referral decision. Balancing between the staff’s need to know and the student’s right to privacy can be like walking a tight rope.
When a decision is reached about where to refer a student—to an outside mental health program, addiction program, school-based support group, etc—the parents and their child are invited to attend a conference (some might say an intervention) with the case manager and team leader. The team members are careful to explain that the SAS is not a punitive program, but a support system. After the history and current behaviors/academic progress or lack thereof is discussed, a recommendation is made to the parents. The recommendation might be to outside counseling service, the school’s social worker, or school-based support group. The process from beginning to end should never take longer than a month.
Some students will simply be put on hold because there is not enough information to make a referral; however, the students’ behavior and grades will be monitored by occasionally asking staff to fill out another referral form. Other students find their way into the SAS because of discipline problems, which is the topic of another post.
That is the basic structure of the CARE Teams, their function, and training. Creating CARE Team at each school is a school district is the essential first step in establishing an effective SAS. I’m sure I’ve omitted many details, but I hope those details will be brought to light in the comments section. In Part III, I will discuss what the training is like, and how the training can serve as an intervention on a school’s entire staff.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
School Districts Must Implement Multiple Intervention Programs for the Sake of Our Children, Parents, and Society
POSTED BY DESERT CRONE
This is the first post in a series on why the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Education must do more than just end schools rules that expel students who misbehave and what school districts can do to keep kids in school.
While I admire their initiative to keep kids in school, their action must be accompanied by multiple intervention programs. This is a very long post, so I do hope you will hang in there and read it in its entirety because I think it will be very enlightening.Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaborative project between the Departments of Justice and Education that will address the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system. The initiative aims to support good discipline practices to foster safe and productive learning environments in every classroom.
First, to understand why I believe in interventions as an essential companion piece with ending expulsion, I’ll tell you a little bit about my life. I was a teacher for about 12 years when I attended a three-day training to help teachers identify students who have addiction issues. What I had to look at, however, during the training was my own alcoholism and addiction. I came home from the first day and told my husband I was an alcoholic and asked him to pour out all the booze, which he did. He said to me, “You damn well better be an alcoholic because I just poured out $300 worth of booze.” I discovered later that the Director of the Student Assistance System (SAS) put me and my girlfriend/drinking buddy in the training, knowing we were drunks and hoping the training would serve as an intervention. Well, damn him, it worked. We both celebrated our 25th sobriety birthday together in April.
It’s about this place in my story when folks congratulate me, but I will not take any credit for my recovery. My 25 years is due solely to my Higher Power and Alcoholics Anonymous. Prior to my epiphany, every Sunday my family dragged me to small liberal church, hangover and all. One Sunday morning I prayed to God for help with my drinking. I didn’t want to stop drinking, just stop the hangovers. Two days later I was in the training and one week later, almost dead, I was sitting in a treatment center saying, “Hi, I’m Desert Crone, and I’m an alcoholic. (Words of wisdom: Be careful for what you pray for and never ever pray for patience.)
Anyway, after the director resigned a few years later, I was appointed to his position. I left the classroom and ran the program for five years. Dealing with addicted kids and their broken families is physically and emotionally draining, so I eventually went back into the classroom, knowing my experience would make me a better, more compassionate and empathetic teacher. (BTW the first students I taught are now 56 years old. Eeeek!) When you have battled alcoholism, nothing much else scares you. So when I went back into the classroom, I was a loud, persistent advocate for students. I took on fellow teachers who weren’t teaching, principals, and school boards. After I retired, I was elected to the local school board where I continued my advocacy for students, My missions as a student advocate is one of the reasons I decided to write this post.
But I digress. I went all out in making the SAS a formidable program that served as many students as humanly possible. Sometimes I went all out with reckless abandon, which generally got me in all kinds of trouble. Looking back on my directorship, I realize now I probably went into it too new in my sobriety. Water under the bridge . . . .
To give you an example of what is possible within a school district, let me explain the financing. First, the district had the most amazing superintendent for whom I have ever worked. He taught me how to write grants so I was able to secure $500,000 dollars to run the program. Most came from state grants and Drug Free Schools, but a small portion came from the district budget and the training and consulting fees I charged other school districts. From 1987-1993 I trained aides, teachers, secretaries, custodians, and administrators from southern Colorado to NM districts and even Oklahoma. I charged $400/day plus expenses. I also trained almost every single staff person in our district over a period of five years.
My staff consisted of one secretary and a therapist, my friend who shares my sobriety birthday. All three of us were and still are in recovery. In AA we believe in sharing our experiences, strengths, and hopes, qualities that made us effective with kids and their parents. They always knew we were not critical of them because we were like them. (Of course, an SAS program can be capably run by people in recovery.) I was able to operate with a staff of two plus myself because we trained staff to assess and place students in support groups and facilitate groups. The SAS was a K-12 program in a school district with over 4000 students so running it with three people was an extraordinary challenge, but it can be done.
By the fifth year, the program had identified and placed 750 students in support groups, such as Children of Alcoholics, prevention, anger, rape victim, recovery, in-patient and out-patient programs, and parents in parent support groups, and multi-family therapy groups with their children. Also, we had implemented K-8 prevention curriculum and peer training in all secondary schools. Whew! What a task to keep those going, but we did we enthusiastic help from a majority of district staff. After the first year as director, drug use had dropped by 18%, the only NM district that actually showed a drop in drug use rather than an increase. The drop-out rate dropped from 17% to 11%. By the fifth year the District showed even more significant drops in both.
Programs that prevent students from dropping out generally pay for themselves in just a few years. Since most states have student-based funding, the more students that stay in school the larger the overall budget. But, more importantly, such a program saves kids and their parents. Believe me, once you have saved a child, his/her parents become the greatest advocates for the district.
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I've been meaning to put this up for a week now. We lost another jazz giant.
NY Times: Frank Foster, a saxophonist, composer and arranger who helped shape the sound of the Count Basie Orchestra during its popular heyday in the 1950s and ’60s and later led expressive large and small groups of his own, died on Tuesday at his home in Chesapeake, Va. He was 82.
"Loosing?" "Fredoms?" ...sigh... Morans.
Another shameless for-profit "educational" children's video from Mike Huckabee.
It really can't get any more petty than criticizing a man for celebrating his 50th birthday. But that's exactly what the right wingers are doing regarding President Obama's birthday.
Kirsten Kukowski is right! I mean, I'm sure that if President Obama skipped the fundraiser that will take him out of town for the evening, he could easily solve the unemployment crisis. If only he weren't so callous, inconsiderate and just plain lazy. Just sit at your desk in the Oval Office and do your job, Mr. President! You'd have a plan to lower the unemployment rate to 4% by tomorrow if only you'd put in a hard night's work.President Obama turns 50 tomorrow, but that isn’t stopping him from celebrating early.Fresh off a bruising debt ceiling debate, and an announcement that the administration is pivoting back to a focus on jobs, Obama heads to his hometown Chicago tonight for a birthday-themed fundraiser at the historic Aragon Ballroom....Republicans have unleashed a barrage of criticism against the president for making the trip, accusing him of hypocrisy during tough economic times.“With 9.2 percent unemployment, he could work on creating jobs, but I suppose the White House is thinking he should stick to the part of his job he really likes,” said RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski in an email statement.GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney also took a swipe at Obama for the trip, publishing an online video Tuesday that highlights a spike in Chicago’s unemployment rate and falling housing prices over the past three years.
How dare the President of the United States celebrate a birthday during a national crisis!!!
POSTED BY JHW22
I have no idea who started this but my sister-in-law sent it to me and I feel it must be shared. If anyone discovers the originator, please give them my thanks and let me know if I can give them the credit.
POSTED BY JHW22
He was a happy guy. Not much bothered him, mostly because not much made sense to him. He didn't let details drag him down and he was more than happy to let others make decisions for him. His outlook on life boiled down to not sweating the little stuff, and by God, he was going to apply that to every aspect of his life.
In 2001, he started a new job. It was a pretty big job with a pretty big company. He enjoyed the job, worked with most of his friends and had all he could need. Life was grand. He enjoyed his job so much, that a handful of months after starting the job, he went to his boss and said, "Ya know, I really don't need one-thousand dollars a month for my salary. Why don't ya just pay me nine hundred a month. I have all I need and you could spend that better than I could." His boss was confused. No one had asked for a pay decrease. His boss encouraged him to re-think things, "You may not need this one hundred now, I know you have a good chunk in savings, but don't you have some repairs on your house or someone in your family who needs some help with medical bills or education?"
But the man, in his typical easy-going self said, "Nope. It's all good. I don't need more than what it takes to get by day to day. Keep it. Enjoy it."
So instead of $1000 a month, the man made $900 a month. And he was happy. His boss was happy to have a little extra in his pocket, but still felt a tad uneasy.
Then, several months later, a horrible thing happened. Violence like he'd never seen took place within his life and it shook him to the core -- emotionally, structurally, financially. Not only did this event cost lives and physical losses, it created a financial burden on him.
He had new expenses associated with the tragedy. And for the first time, he wasn't happy. He was shocked and sad and ANGRY. He wanted revenge and decided to go after the people who perpetrated the violence. And that cost money. But because he was living month to month, after asking for a pay decrease, money was tight.
But he was still angry and not finding the perp so decided to take out his anger on another person. This other person was a real asshole, to be sure, but was an empty target of the man's rage. And acting on his rage cost the man even more. More that he didn't have, after asking for the pay decrease.
His boss went to him and begged him to take a pay increase, "You need this money to fight your battles. Take it, please. Your family needs to you have this money." But the man declined.
Then the man remembered his boss once asking if someone in his family needed help with health care. Yes, he did have a grandmother who was having a hard time paying for prescriptions, so he decided to start paying for her medicine, at full cost. Again, he didn't have the money for it. And again, his boss offered -- and was rebuffed -- a raise.
All of this added up and he had no choice to charge these expenses to his credit card. He was only able to make the minimum payments each month, so his interest was stacking and piling and mounting.
In the meantime, he sent out generous Christmas gifts to friends and family, trying to cover his financial stress with gifts.
And then his bank was robbed and all the money he had access to, and his bosses money, was stolen. It was going to take time to recoup the money, so for a short time, he wasn't going to get paid. This created a financial disaster he never saw coming. His mortgage was due and he couldn't pay it. His credit card bill was due and he couldn't pay it. His boss came to him and said, "Some of my wealthy investors have cash-on-hand and I could ask them to help fund a raise for you." Again, the man said no.
He was so upset. So frazzled and unsure of what to do. So he went for a long drive to clear his mind. He wasn't happy anymore, he was feeling so low that he just couldn't figure out how to resolve the situation. And his damn boss wouldn't stop bugging him about a raise. He started thinking about his boss and got so angry that his boss would dare question his finances and try to give him a hand-out. The rage grew and the next thing he knew, his uninsured car was wrapped around a tree. He felt severe pain in both legs and arms. They were all broken.
A passer-by found him and called 911. An ambulance came for him and took him to the nearest hospital.
Not only did he not have car insurance, he didn't have health insurance. The car repair and medical bills were going to hurt as much as the four broken limbs.
His injuries required immediate surgery and a wonderful doctor, a patient and wise man, operated quickly and with the best information he had at the time. It would take a few days to know if there were any unseen injuries and infections. But the doctor stayed by the man's side, watching closely, thinking about six months out, one year out, ten years out. He knew the injuries would take years to fully heal. There would be financial, emotional and physical burdens on the man. But, for the man to recover and get back to work, the doctor had to prescribe therapy and pain medication. And, possibly, more surgeries.
And all of that cost money.
When it came time to pay the bills, the man grew furious with the kind doctor. He refused to pay the bills and ranted and raved to his boss about the greedy doctor who wasted and spent on frivolous surgeries and therapies. The man didn't think it was HIS fault or responsibility that the doctor chose the procedures he chose. And now that doctor was wanting to recoup his payment.
The man's boss told the man, "But the doctor was saving you from yourself. Why can't you just accept a raise and take care of all that YOU chose to spend? Your choices led you here. Your choices have created interest on debts that were unnecessary debts. I offered you ways to fund all the things you wanted but you refused. And now you are angrier at the doctor than you are at yourself? This isn't right."
But the man refused to listen. He refused to accept personal responsibility. He refused to acknowledge that his choices, all along, led him to this place and only he could have made choices differently.
And instead of taking the time to reflect and find ways to make amends, and still refusing to accept a salary increase, the man sat down in front of the T.V. and had a cup of tea.
And still he sits.
You can watch Damon's full speech here.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
David Shuster was suspended from MNSBC for expressing Hillary Clinton's use of her daughter during her presidential campaign as "pimping out" Chelsea. He was suspended again for tweeting about that yellow faux journalist douchebag James O'Keefe. He was suspended yet again and eventually fired by MSNBC for filming a pilot for CNN. Keith Olbermann was suspended by MSNBC for making campaign donations to politicians without first asking permission. His continual conflicts with his bosses eventually led to his release.
So what will MSNBC do with conservative pundit Pat Buchanan for referring to President Barack Obama as "boy" not once, but three times? Will they suspend him or fire him for his racist code words?
Calling the African-American President of the United States "boy" three times is three times too many. Time for Pat to go.
I've been out of the loop for personal reasons (good personal reasons) the last two days or so and missed the finalization of the debt deal and yesterday's votes, occasionally checking an email here and a tweet there. But listening to today's morning news, you'd think absolutely nothing got done. Is no one happy with this deal? Or at least relieved that we didn't go down the default drain? Apparently not.
Democrats are angry because there are no revenue increases in this deal and only spending cuts (which in my opinion were inevitable anyway). But they got the debt ceiling raised a significant amount and don't have to deal with more GOP hostage taking bullshit until 2013. Republicans are angry that there weren't any entitlement cuts, that they didn't magically privatize Social Security or gut and voucherize Medicare or didn't throw the poor down the sewer by dismantling Medicaid, but according to that stalwart "leader" John Boehner, he got 98% of what he wanted. And yet Boehner couldn't get the Tea Party to join in. 66 "No" votes on the Republican side. So apparently no one is happy.
And yet this morning, if you were to listen to Morning Joke™'s Joe Scaroborough, you'd think it was only Democrats that were angry and were speaking in hyperbole. Scarborough was extra cranked today, on his fourth cup of Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiasshole while sidekick Mike Brzezinski expressed her disgust for the trigger mechanism in the bill with a look that could easily be confused with her eating a few too many Activia yogurts.
The mocking tones were a new low, even for Scarborough, mimicking voices of disgruntled opponents of the passage of the deal (only on the Democratic side mind you), while Mika giggled like a wet-pantied schoolgirl at the sight of Senators Tom Coburn and John Thune appearing on their show. Then in a complete 180, Scarborough looked at the votes and expressed that the adults in the room were actually the Democrats and praised Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid for their willingness to compromise.
Panelist John Heillman's jaw hit the floor and took Scarborough to task: "You can't sit there and praise McConnell and Reid for compromising without simultaneously criticizing Tea Party for not compromising," said Heillman. Joe's answer: "Yes, I can. You know why? Because I feel like it." And there in a nutshell, is Scarborough's very serious punditry.
The Republicans got 98% of what they wanted and it still wasn't good enough for the Tea Party? Both sides, Democratic and Republican, have to marginalize the emergence of these people. The Democrats need to for the danger they pose to the country, and that's not hyperbole. The rogue Tea Party members of the House pushed the country to the brink of default and the world to the edge of economic ruin when they continued to defy any deal that their own House Speaker could muster. Not until after Boehner's own plan was rewritten three times and a balanced budget amendment was added, was there enough support to pass a bill which everyone knew would die in the Senate. A purely symbolic vote that wasted a week.
And the Republicans need to take care of Tea Party rogues for the danger they pose to the demise of their own party. If 80 members of the Republican party can hold up all legislation (only 13 bills have been passed in Congress since January) what does that say for the strength of "real" Republicans? At this pace, they'll become 21st Century Whigs.
Meanwhile, Jon Stewart nails it once again.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Dealageddon! - Angry Tea Party|
Monday, August 1, 2011
When speaking in any context, whether radio or television interview, the written word, on the floor of the House or Senate, well, anywhere really, it's best not to use the name of the first African American President of the United States and "tar baby" in the same sentence.
Appearing on the Caplis and Silverman radio show last Friday, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said, “Now I don’t even want to have to be associated with [Obama], it’s like touching a tar baby and you’re stuck, you’re part of the problem now. You can’t get away.”
Any questions?Indeed, the term has such a derogatory history that the Oxford American dictionary revamped its definition to reflect the word’s racial undertones.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Another week, and another example of Charles Krauthammer defecating on perfectly good paper. What a waste.
Earlier this week, Krauthammer wasted our time with his twisted logic on why the House should pass the John Boehner plan - mind you this was the original plan that Boehner couldn't garner support for from his own party, long before it actually passed on it's third incarnation which included a balanced budget amendment necessary for getting the votes needed, only to die a quick and merciful death in the Senate a short two hours later. All totaled, Boehner spent the entire week trying to pass a bill that he knew would be rejected in the Senate, while the clock is ticking down to D-Day. ("D" for "Default.")
The basis for Krauthammer's column:
Sigh... must I go over each of the supposed examples in that last paragraph? I must, I must....The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic vs. limited-government — have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama’s inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health-care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide.
Well, we can't really start off with a "limited government" lie posed as a fact so I'll refer you to a chart broken down by presidential terms showing federal spending and national debt. You'll immediately notice something when comparing the numbers:
So you can take that limited government bullshit and shove it. Reagan tripled the national debt. George W. Bush doubled it. So the next time some conservative starts with the myth that we somehow were completely fine until that no good Obama got his hands on the credit card, punch him in the neck.Economist Mike Kimel notes that the last five Democratic Presidents (Clinton, Carter, LBJ, JFK, and Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last four Republican Presidents (GW Bush, GHW Bush, Reagan, and Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country’s indebtedness.
The stimulus that Krauthammer wets his pants on wasn't some kind of socialist spending spree. It was necessitated by a nosediving GDP to shore up the continual loss of jobs (700,000+ per month by the time Bush left office), and not because of some imaginary European style socialist agenda.
Had President Obama not bailed out the auto industry, a bailout that began under Bush, but Obama honed into a reorganization to make the American auto industry profitable again, we would have been more than another million jobs in the hole.
Had President Obama truly wanted a European model of health care in the United States, he would have shot for a single payer system at the beginning of negotiations. And let's not forget that practically every president since Teddy Roosevelt has tried to pass some kind of health care legislation. Don't begrudge Obama for getting it done.
And Krauthammer's complaint about financial regulation is laughable considering the 2007 financial collapse brought on by the deregulatory decisions of both Presidents Clinton and GW Bush. Should we just forget all that's happened and assume the banks and markets can police themselves after a lesson learned?
And finally, deficit spending. I didn't know our country operated in the black until January 20th, 2009. Oh, wait. It didn't.
So is Charles Krauthammer at risk of being shot in the face by disagreeing with Dick Cheney's now famous, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter" line?"The lesson we should have learned [from the Reagan years] is that deficits have little or no short-term economic impacts," said William A. Niskanen, a member of Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers....The fiscal shift in the Reagan years was staggering. In January 1981, when Reagan declared the federal budget to be "out of control," the deficit had reached almost $74 billion, the federal debt $930 billion. Within two years, the deficit was $208 billion. The debt by 1988 totaled $2.6 trillion. In those eight years, the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the largest debtor nation.