But have you seen the U.S. Lost Output Clock? This is much more informative, showing us just how high the cost of recession and slow recovery (due to austerity, especially at the state and local level) has been. The total now stands at over $5.2 trillion. (H/t @nielsandeweg and Dean Baker)
Here is the clock as of about 2:00pm EST January 22:
United States Lost Output Clock
Lost National Income since the Financial Crisis of 2008.
Blue line = Potential GDP (if capital and labor are fully employed with adequate demand)
Red line = Actual GDP
As noted, this is calculated by summing the distance between actual and potential gross domestic product. It's a scary picture, especially because there doesn't seem to be much recent change in the distance between the two lines.
Something worth looking at every few months as a reality check. It is, as Paul Krugman says, time to End This Depression Now!