As usual, the comics tell the truth what paid-off and economically illiterate media will not. Brilliance from Colbert!
Love the "high five" palm that shows up under the desk around 3:40!
And by the way, maybe the reason some places have debt around 90% of GDP is BECAUSE THEIR ECONOMIES ARE DEPRESSED TO BEGIN WITH. When people are losing their jobs, they tend not to be making money and contributing revenues, and they tend to need unemployment and other types of spending. So no shitr, their economies might be growing slower than other economies that have lower debts. And the difference is so small, it almost doesn't matter.
Econbrowser has had some good breakdowns on the Reinhart-Rogoff report the last few days, and I'd recommend giving that a look as well.
Now debt may not necessarily slow down an economy and risk recession, but you know what does? AUSTERITY! Heck, just ask the British, who are barely staying above 0%, with joblessness back on the rise, in no small part due to austerity measures approved by the Tory-Lib Dem government.
Compare that to what we'll probably see from U.S. GDP tomorrow, which'll be in the 2.5- 3.0% range, and ask which situation you'd rather have? And with the 10-year note staying around 1.7%, why in the world would you want to slam the brakes on an economy that still hasn't nearly recovered to the wage and unemployment levels that we had before?
With all of the evidence to the contrary, what kind of fool would still believe in the "debt tipping point" thesis of Reinhart-Rogoff that has been disproven time and again over the last 80 years? Probably someone clueless enough to think this shot looks cool.