To let you know how crazy the amount of borrowing and spending has become, it would take about 35 people with the same amount of money as Bill Gates to pay off all of the mortgages in California. Fortunately, since only 30% of them are currently underwater --and in danger of default if people flee their mortgage-- it would only take 12 people with the same amount of money as Bill Gates to solve this crisis.
It is also quite amazing that the outstanding mortgages in California are equal to about 1/7 of the US national debt. In fact, the outstanding mortgages in California have the same real value (in 2010 dollars) as the US debt had in 1980 before Reagen took office.
It is interesting to think that California is just one of the states in the US --albeit, the biggest-- yet it has so much value in danger of foreclosure. Thirty percent of the $2 in mortgages at risk comes to about $600 billion. This $600 billion may have to written off as losses if the trend of escaping underwater homes continues. The best we can hope for is economic recovery and a rebound in housing prices before too many other people decide that defaulting on their mortgage is their best recourse.