Pile of debt would stretch beyond stratosphere

Comments (62)

When will our country get serious about our out of control spending? Out politicians don’t have the integrity or guts to make real spending cuts – so it’s time to take their credit card away. Force our government to live within it’s means and make budget decisions like most American families. Force them to prioritize their spending. Promises of getting our government’s spending under control won’t cut it any more (we’ve already given them that chance). Our standard of living has been subsidized at the expense of our children and grandchildren. Shame on us! Make a stand, call your representatives in Washington and require them to hold our debt ceiling where it is. Let’s take the collective pain (and yes there will be some short-term pain) and make the hard right choice for our children’s long-term future.

May 19, 2011 1:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bikerjoe wrote:

Sounds like we should look into this further with special committees, think tanks, and maybe even some 10+ year government study to see if its just a short trend or if we are really that far in debt. Maybe we could hire some accountants and specialists to check into the accuracy of all this debt. (ok, I am being totally facetious) Wake up folks, we’re broke. Can anyone remember when they were young and wanted something and their mother and father said; “Sorry but we can’t afford that right now” Guess what… we can’t afford much right now.

May 19, 2011 2:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
crazycrackpot wrote:

US Financial system = Biggest ponzi scheme in history.

May 19, 2011 2:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
russoturisto wrote:

Trillions.. gazillions.. who cares how much the US debt is.. just don’t talk about it and problem solved.. come on people move on.. nothing to see here. Read about latest sex scandal instead – it’s way more entertaining.
US holds reserve currency so we can’t fail. There is no limit to our borrowing.. stratosphere? .. the boundaries of this universe is our limit. We will spend our way to recovery!!!

Sure I’m being sarcastic but isn’t it how it feels in mainstream media?
I have seen what hyperinflation is when I lived in Russia in 98 when country defaulted. That is when all food prices go up 20% every day.
Everybody panics and people line up in front of food stores to spend all the money they have on food.
The panics lasts for about 2 weeks and then there is a long period when nobody has any money left to spend on anything and all business activities stop.
But look on a bright side – you will have more time to spend with your family.

Bottom line – it’s not end of the World and not even end of US. People will survive no matter what economic crisis happens and hopefully will learn a few things in the process.

May 19, 2011 5:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamesDAgresti wrote:

Probably the most relatable way to quantify the federal debt is per household: $121,838 for every household in the U.S. However, this is only the official national debt. Add in liabilities and unfunded obligations, and the figure is $480,949 per household.

To give you a sense for the immensity of this figure, it comes to 82% of the combined net worth of all U.S. households and nonprofit organizations, including all assets in savings, real estate, corporate stocks, private businesses, and consumer durable goods such as automobiles.

Essentially, the federal government is in a hole that is nearly equal to the accumulated wealth of the American people since the dawn on this nation.

May 20, 2011 4:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackMack wrote:

Perhaps it would be worth noting at this point that Ronald Reagan, whom virtually everyone in America seems to worship, was the first president to rail against the national debt while actually quadrupling it. Until George II and Barack Obama, no President EVER presided over greater “peacetime” debt expansion in American history.

The problems we face today are DIRECTLY and incontrovertibly attributable to the policies Reagan’s administration promoted.

May 22, 2011 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RexMax46 wrote:

I remember a time when we were actually paying off the deficit. Unfortunately, it involve spending cuts AND higher taxes. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

May 22, 2011 12:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dsnthefuture wrote:

The US debt level is a joke. We are living through the biggest credit bubble in the history of the civilized world, expect a rather nasty comedown.

May 22, 2011 2:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CaptPhil wrote:

How does it feel to be sitting in a restaurant with 350 million of your friends and the check for a hugh dinner arrives and your credit card is refused… get used to it! We are there…

May 22, 2011 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
txgadfly wrote:

What do you mean “we”??

“Our” debt is the debt of those who seized control of the electoral system 50 years ago. If we have no representation in a body that can veto spending not in our interest, we have no obligation to pay their debts. No taxation without representation. And we have no representation because the entire American Government is unrepresentative because it has been gamed.

When the world realizes that our current rulers have only their own printing presses as a source of money to repay, they will stop lending them money. And then the wars will stop. And maybe, just maybe, we will reintroduce representative government to this land.

But that old debt will not be paid from general tax funds. So it does not matter except to the fools who buy Federal paper.

May 22, 2011 4:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tomper wrote:

Want to fix it? Elect more democrats.

May 22, 2011 4:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Layla1 wrote:

Geitner belongs in prison, along with the rest of our politicians who steal from the earnings of the working people.

We are now the United States of Amerika, Chicago style.

May 22, 2011 5:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
edword wrote:

All the liberals can say is that the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share. Well, they pay ALL of it – and it’ll never be enough.

The only way forward it alot of pain and grief to those whose lives have grown dependent on the Govt. This is and will always be the Democrat/Liberal legacy.

May 22, 2011 5:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoeKiplinger wrote:

These are not debt. These are stimulus borrowing. We need to borrow money to stimulate the economy. Unemployed people need to be paid. More government workers are needed to ensure the stimulus borrowing are dispursed to the right people. They also ensure evil private businesses cannot fired lackies since they go into the unemployed status. We need to keep the unemployement number under control. Government also need stimulus borrowing to grow green projects. Just like trees, they take a long time to becomre fruitful. Maybe 100s of years.

May 22, 2011 5:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cogito wrote:

The United States economy is in far worse shape than our political officials would have us believe. Government does not use generally accepted accounting procedures that are required of the private sector. As President Reagan said, if the private sector did their accounting like the federal government, every private sector accountant would be in prison.

In the private sector, if you have a known expense for which you have not received the bill you are required to show it on your balance sheet as an ‘accrued unrecorded liability.’ It is necessary to reflect these known costs so that prospective investors have a clear picture of the economic health of the Company.

If government wanted us to understand the true health of our economy they would have to institute private sector accounting procedures. The result would be:

$14,300,000,000,000 National Debt
9,700,000,000,000 New Obama Debt Commitments
4,700,000,000,000 Unfunded Liability for Gov’t employee pensions
107,000,000,000,000 Unfunded Liability for Social Security & Medicare
$135,700,000,000,000 Total Real Debt

That equates to $435,799 for every man, woman and child, or 935.30% of our Gross Domestic Product.

While we were sleeping, our very own elected leaders have destroyed the American Dream for our children, our grand children, and for many generations to come. Every one of them has committed a felony by violating their legal responsibilities established by fiduciary law.

May 22, 2011 5:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
blorjr wrote:

Although its only be a drop in the bucket,we could seize all the campaign accounts of the current politicans.also seize all properties they have less the house they live in and ban all of them from public service. then have a round of elections to fill the seats with all seats term limited.

May 22, 2011 5:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

“While we were sleeping, our very own elected leaders have destroyed the American Dream for our children, our grand children, and for many generations to come. Every one of them has committed a felony by violating their legal responsibilities established by fiduciary law.”

Here lies much of the problem. These jokers were largely elected by about 21% of the actual population. Let those who elected them pay the bills they generate because they are NOT my representatives and I did NOT elect the jerks. Virtually no one that I have voted for in the past 4-5 elections has actually won. Perhaps if they had, this country wouldn’t have been in the mess it is today.

It’s too bad we don’t have the capacity or will to impose costs on those voters who cause them by electing the riffraff we have in office. We still need to start over with a clean toilet and flush this filthy one in Washington D.C. – too many “floaters” have clogged it and are stinking it up.

May 22, 2011 5:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fastred wrote:

Democrats have controlled congress for almost all of the last 60 years, have attached massive entitlement spending to any bills and kept borrowing. Blaming this on Regan without pointing the finger at Tip O’neal and his Democrat run congress is disingenuous.

Republicans are big spenders on pet programs. Democrats are far worse. We need more Teaparty types and adults in D.C. to solve this. Once massive cuts and systemic changes are in place, then we can all have a giant social policy debate.

May 22, 2011 5:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

We keep whining about what these career politicians are doing, but we keep electing them…we are the problem. Perhaps it is time we take a little personal responsibility, and stop placing them in office.

May 22, 2011 6:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
timwithabo wrote:

Hussein Obama doesn’t care at all, neither do the Liberal Democrats in the House and Senate, they were in charge until the Tea Partiers kicked them out of the House, but they still continue to amass debt with an idiotic response, “What do you want us to not fund.”? How obtuse can you get?!? CUT EVERYTHING, starting with aid to Egypt and Libya, Hussein Obama just said he wants to forgive Egypt $1 billion in loans, and then borrow another $2 billion from China to GIVE TO EGYPT. THAT IS THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS money that he is adding onto the 14.5 trillion, so he can GIVE IT AWAY. FIRE OBAMA! FIRE ALL OF THEM! START OVER!

May 22, 2011 7:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
FallenAmerica wrote:

The money is gone. The intelligence is gone. The morals are gone.

AMericans have not seen the worst yet, but they don’t care. They’d rather gossip, spread hate, and watch stupid TV shows. I’ve lost my respect and faith in this country.

May 22, 2011 7:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cogito wrote:

JackMac is a quake. First, Reagan trippled the debt That said, the cumulative deficits of Reagan, Bush I and Bush II over 20 years is $4.6 trillion. By comparison, according to the Obama Whitehouse budget, at the end of 2011 his cumulative deficit in 3 years will be $4.4 trillion

Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, over 20 years contributed $8.9 trillion to the national debt. By contrast, in 3 years, Obama has added $5.5 trillion dollars.

Obama’s Whitehouse budget shows that if re-elected at the end of his second term our national debt will be $20.8 trillion dollars. In accomplishing this feat he will, in 8 years, have matched the cumulative debt of all presidents from Washington through Bush II, or from 1789 through 2008. Even so, his estimated debt is bogus as on the income side he predicts the growth of our gross national product to average 5.31% each year. We will be fortunate to complete 2011 with a gdp of 2.2%.

But don’t let facts and data affect your opinion.

May 22, 2011 7:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JMWinPR wrote:

The author is a bit disingenuous. He neglected to mention it is the stratosphere of UrANUS. Or ouranus as the case may be.

May 22, 2011 7:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cogito wrote:

Fastred got it right. In fact, during the past 70 years Democrats have controlled the House of Representative for 63 years and the Senate 58 years. If the rich don’t pay taxes it is because the Democrats don’t want them to pay taxes.

According to the federal budget, since 1940 Democrats have contributed $10 trillion to the national debt and Republicans contributed $4 trillion.

Neither party gets off the hook. If Congress did not want $1.7 trillion in deficit spending there would be no deficit spending. If Congress did not want a $14.3 trillion dollar debt there would be not debt. If government did not want an unfunded liability of $107 trillion for Social Security and Medicare there would be no unfunded liability.

Politicians fool the people with rhetoric, as do their supporters.

Plato said, “Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.”

He sure knew politicians.

May 22, 2011 7:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
catblue422 wrote:

OH Yeah and the US government is busy with congressional hearings about Lance Armstrong Doping while the defunct broke US Postal Service paid his way and is now looking for a bail out!
Heck this government is borrowing (stealing as they did with Social Security/replacing with worthless IOU’s) government employee’s pensions without Congressional approval. Heck when you have the great ruler Obama, why do we need to pay salaries, pensions, benefits for Congress, Senate, Supreme Court…
Nope nothing wrong here in the US, business as usual so run along I think Celebrity Apprentice is on tonight!

May 22, 2011 8:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cogito wrote:

Happy Birthday to all of you celebtating on May 22.

Unfortunately you will get no cake.

Democrats took your cake, sliced it into pieces, and redistributed it to those less fortunate who do not have a birthy today.

May 22, 2011 8:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SusanD wrote:

The American people have been duped by the progressives in both parties and there is no more hiding their ponzi scheme from us. Since they can’t hide it from us, they are attempting to steal our liberties from us inch by inch, day by day. Wake up folks. If we don’t impress on Congress how extending the debt limit is a recipe for disaster, we’re on the Road to Serfdom just as we were warned by F.A. Hayek in 1956.

May 22, 2011 8:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
billybob1 wrote:

As in Iceland, the average American may be responsible for only 10% of the total debt at most. The other 90% belongs to the banksters. However, thanks to the influence banksters have over elected lawmakers in most countries, we US taxpayers have been saddled with the banksters’ 90% and our 10%. In Iceland, the people told the banksters to pound salt. Here in the US, we had the banksters’ debt shoved down our throats by the people we voted into office. Now the bankster debt exceeds 100 trillion dollars. That’s impossible to pay back, but our income taxes are being sucked out of us to pay the banksters’ debt anyway. Where does the money go? Why to the banksters of course. (They run everything — including entire countries.) When will this charade end? When there’s nothing left to take from the working class or when the dollar collapses — whichever comes first. Welcome to crony, phony capitalism where there is no such thing as a level playing field. The banksters would love for us to engage in class warfare, i.e., the poor people against the millionaires when in reality it should be everyone from the poorest of the poor and the millionaires against the bankster billionaires and trillionaires. The Icelanders did the right thing. They showed courage, commonsense and a sense of duty to future generations of Icelanders. They said no to the banksters and colluding politicians. We here in the US did just the opposite and will reap the horrible consequences.

May 22, 2011 8:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
billybob1 wrote:

To Cogito: You’re falling for the class warfare nonsense. The banksters run both political parties in the US. They have run the country into the ground — and reaped the spoils — by using our elected representatives as their servants. At the top, there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Obama might as well be George W. Bush. The policies are almost absolutely identical and are achieving the same result: the rich are getting a lot richer, the Constitution isn’t taken seriously and the country is in a state of rapid decline — as we head toward one-world government. What a welfare queen steals from the taxpayer is a crumb on the floor compared to what banksters have stolen, which by comparison is the entire bakery.

May 22, 2011 8:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Just who was it that was allowed to kick American Debt in to the stratosphere when all they had to do was impliment a Ri=onald Regan Plan. This would not have happened. Did any one try to stop Obama???

May 22, 2011 10:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Just who was it that was allowed to kick American Debt in to the stratosphere when all they had to do was impliment a Ri=onald Regan Plan. This would not have happened. Did any one try to stop Obama???

May 22, 2011 10:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Just who was it that was allowed to kick American Debt in to the stratosphere when all they had to do was impliment a Ri=onald Regan Plan. This would not have happened. Did any one try to stop Obama???

May 22, 2011 10:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rdej4168 wrote:

Time to get jobs back into the US vs. China, and push the financial reset button: forgive all debts. We’ve are still paying for things bought and gone 15 years ago, today. Apparent home values are 50% or less the purchase price, and we’re paying that purchase price!


May 22, 2011 10:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Law2001 wrote:

Stop the unneeded spending of the federal government and decrease its size. End funding for all government research, NPR, PBS, NEA, PPFA, UN, TSA, etc. etc. End all collective bargining with unions. End all bailouts to banks, companies, state governments, etc. End all foreign aid. End all the wars (which appear to be oil and minerals anyway). Make all government social programs optional (you don’t pay, you don’t get). End all property tax. We the people are not your wage slaves. We are not your collateral.

Separation of government and business
Separation of government and speech

May 22, 2011 12:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GaveUpOnTV wrote:

Good news-I believe we can change our national circumstances if we can cut spending.
Bad news-neither party looks like a good bet to do it-no leaders on the horizon, either.
We could cut debt if every agency, every subsidy, EVERYTHING was cut by a percentage-I’m not an accountant, but maybe 50%? 75%? I know a lot of people will be ‘hurt’ by this, but the choice (and not changing the status quo is a choice) between drastic cutting and not is the survival of our nation in it’s present form.
Have a nice day!

May 23, 2011 1:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
owen1 wrote:

The way I try to “get a grip” is this: there are roughly 300 million americans, so fore every $1 billion in borrowing, every man, woman, and child owes another $3 in principal, plus interest. So when these pols throw around some pork-barrel $30 billion program that “we can’t afford not to do,” I have just put another $100 on my fediscam card. We are so doomed.

May 23, 2011 6:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gbrooters wrote:

The debt is – uh, astronomical!
STACKED ONE-DOLLAR bills (.0043″)will take you:
Estimated Fed. Budget 2011 > 257,891 MILES INTO SPACE
National debt as of 09:20 05/16/2011 > 975,934 MILES INTO SPACE

END-TO-END ONE-DOLLAR bills (6.14″)will take you:
Estimated Fed. Budget 2011 > 368,244,949 MILES INTO SPACE
National debt as of 09:20 05/16/2011 > 1,393,543,328 MILES INTO SPACE
The DAILY INCREASE increase in debt > 397,404 MILES FARTHER INTO SPACE
238,712 miles Distance to the moon
25,800,000 miles Distance to Venus
48,600,000 miles Distance to Mars
57,000,000 miles Distance to Mercury
92,955,800 miles Distance to the Sun
390,600,000 miles Distance to Jupiter
777,000,000 miles Distance to Saturn
1,690,000,000 miles Distance to Uranus
2,700,000,000 miles Distance to Neptune

May 23, 2011 8:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bevus wrote:

The progressive,liberal Marxist: Obama has got what they want, the down fall of our economy and this country. This is the plan, we are doomed, you cannot pay off this debt, ever!

May 23, 2011 8:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ladyluck wrote:

Outrageous! When 14 million Americans can’t even find jobs,how does the government expect to repay this kind of debt? Or don’t they care?

May 23, 2011 8:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cj_james wrote:

“The White House is trying to hammer out a deal with lawmakers to cut federal spending in exchange for a debt-limit increase.”

Reuters is trying to making sound like Obama is engaged and motivated to cut spending… pfft, he’s going to be dragged kicking and screaming for each and every dollar that the republicans are going to propose we cut.

I can sum up Obama pretty easy: Lack of Leadership

May 23, 2011 9:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paulstewart wrote:

i find it amusing that most people are trying to blame the politicians. well you guys put them there so its your own fault. also you need to compare the debt to the size of the economy not in the abstract. america has dumbed down way too much the past few generations.

May 23, 2011 9:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Statistician wrote:

This was a pretty thin article. It added little to anyone’s understanding of the US economy and generated the usual rants about debt and deficits that suggest no one is listening on either side.
It ignored the fact that the US economy is huge. At $15T in GDP, the US makes up a full 25% of the world’s total product.(World Bank figures.) The next largest economies are Japan and China at $5T each. It ignorede the fact that a third of the national debt is made up of nonmarket debt in the form of trust fund receipts. (Meaning, adding some vague “unfunded liabilities” – Soc Sec etc. – is actually double counting the future borrowing for such benefits.) Finally, with more 300,000,000 people, the total debt of $13,000,000,000,000 comes to $45,000 for each American. That sounds like a lot, but financial figures get huge in such an economy. Just to compare, in 2006, the total life insurance in forxce in the US was more than $19T. If it is unchanged, that comes to an average of $60,000 for each American. No one I know has become worried that our life insurance industry is unsustainable.

May 23, 2011 9:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cj_james wrote:

America has dumbed down way too much the past few generations.

As evident of the election of Obama… I grew being taught how dangerous communism is, and why its incompatible with American ideals… here we are though, America with a progressive, or read “soft communist” president.

May 23, 2011 9:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gregory8 wrote:

We can’t pay the debt off, because of the interest. There never was any money in circualtion to pay off the interest portion of the debt. Only the Principal amount borrowed is or was in circulation.

It’s impossible since Day 1.

It is against Biblical Financial laws, unless you loan to an enemy or another Nation….Then, it’s ok, as you’d then up with their collateral. LOL

May 23, 2011 9:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse

I’m a US citizen, only by default mind you, but this is not my debt and it’s not my problem. I didn’t create it and I’m not responsible for it. I will make no effort to help this country resolve this imaginary problem. The financial system is a lie, this debt is a lie, Americans need to realize that. We need to stop honoring our government and our leaders and live for ourselves. YOU are in control, your government is a hopeless lie.

May 23, 2011 10:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JustAGuy wrote:

* Thank you Obama and Democrats for the massive debt.
* Thank you media for not doing your job and reporting this, but instead covered for Obama and the Democrats.
* Thank you moderate Republicans for not having a backbone and standing up to this economic destruction.

May 23, 2011 10:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jrj90620 wrote:

And the average idiot American goes on believing that these fool leaders will fix all the problems.No end in sight to the decline of America.

May 23, 2011 11:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jrj90620 wrote:

The citizens who earn money don’t want higher taxes,since it is them that pay the taxes.The citizens who earn little and pay little taxes want higher govt spending,since they don’t pay for it.How do we get past this divide?

May 23, 2011 12:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Deadman wrote:

Personally, I think they should put the $500 bill back in circulation, and get ready for the K – note.

May 23, 2011 12:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

There won’t be change until the public truly gets how bad US finances are. The public yawns when it hears $trillions in debt thinking “big number, but its a big country”. since they have no perspective. We need to rephrase the issue:

The federal government will need >$1 million per household to pay its IOUs!
> $116 trillion =”official” debt plus money  short for future social security, medicare, etc
Even its “official debt” of $14.2 trillion  is $123,754 per household!
Details at http://StopNationalDebt.com with links to contact congress & complain.

“POLL REVEALS: Americans Are Still In Deep Denial About The Deficit” http://read.bi/h6QDGR If they realized how bad it is politicians would need to act.

Be among the first to join the Facebook “event’ “Balance the Budget NOW! Stop National Debt!”
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=222165047809308 since if you don’t spread the word, who will? We need to spread the word virally to educate non news-junkies. Its online&ongoing. The date is just when to vote out many of the politicians who don’t balance the budget.

May 23, 2011 12:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Deadman wrote:

Ok, so the Obama media has called this a “recovery” instead of a “depression”, and believe me, this economy is going to get worse before it gets better, anybody with half a brain can see that. So, my advice would be to tighten the belt, people, and ride it out. I ain’t spending no money, that’s for sure.

May 23, 2011 1:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
realist_N_WI wrote:

Spending needs to be reigned in. Spending on imperialistic wars and spending to subsidize tax cuts for the wealthy. By 2019, Bush era tax cuts and the costs of carrying on never ending war will account for over half of teh national debt. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/20/bush-tax-cuts-debt_n_864812.html

May 23, 2011 1:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jlt2 wrote:

The numbers and reasons are here:


May 23, 2011 1:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Deadman wrote:

Ok, it’s fun with math time. $14.2 trillion = $100 bills 9000 miles tall = 7,002,547,200 in^3 = 4,052,400 cubic feet of money = a cube of $100 bills 159.43 feet per side, which basically translates into a room 160 x 160 feet and about 10 stories tall.

May 23, 2011 1:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Deadman wrote:

Sorry, make that 16 stories tall. 14.2 trillion in $100 dollar bills would occupy a room 160′ x 160′ and 16 stories tall.

May 23, 2011 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Statistician wrote:

Why all this sudden desire to pay off the National Debt? In 1945, the debt was 125% of GDP and there was no national crisis. I seriously doubt Americans have the will or the desire to carry through on paying off our debt. (I also think it would be a great waste of effort because sovereign debt is actually quite useful in financial markets as a risk free holding.)
In 2000 the US was on a track to pay off the debt by 2008. There were even reports from Wall St firms about how challenging finance was going to be without Treasury debt. Of course, a Presidential candidate, pandering to America’s need for short-term gains, told voters that we could cut taxes – three times – because they would do better things with the money. America bought it and the decline in debt as a share of GDP reversed. That didn’t help when the boom finally ended and tax collections fell. (Remember, 80% of the Federal government’s revenue comes from individual income taxes and payroll taxes like Social Security. This leaves Federal finances highly vulnerable to the employment cycle.)
I am 60 years old and have worked for 27 years in finance and money and it drives me crazy to read what some people think they know about economics and finance. Where do these crackpot, overly simplistic schemes come from?
So forget the cheap tricks about how many pieces of paper that would be or misplaced analogies to credit cards. Stop wasting time with internet sites that are written by people who have no real experience in markets.
And if don’t even get me started on that gold standard nonsense.

May 23, 2011 2:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jlt2 wrote:

truth to stupid:

May 23, 2011 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Statistician wrote:

To jlt2:
Thanks. That is an accurate summary.

May 23, 2011 3:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jlt2 wrote:

The deficit is the past spending. You know —2 unfunded wars, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, the donut hole..etc! The debt limit is to pay for that spending >>> will facts help–of course only–for those that do not WANT to remain willfully ignorant!


May 23, 2011 4:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nalts wrote:

Do you realized that the Federal Government could tax every fortune 500 corporation at 100% as well take 100% of everything every billionaire owns and it still would not be enough to cover a year’s worth of spending?

For the life of me I cannot understand how anyone still thinks that we have a *lack of tax* problem and not a spending problem.

May 23, 2011 5:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BGarst wrote:

Treasury is lying. We will not default on August 1st. There is 10 times as much revenue coming in as we have obligations. All they have to do is prioritize payments of debts, which they have the authority to do, and there will be no default. Do not buy into their scare tactics.

May 23, 2011 7:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
blitz2020 wrote:

Give it up. America will never accept austerity. The majority of ‘We The People’ are short term hedonists. I assure you, it will never feel good to accept reduction in entitlements unless we hit rock bottom. So, suck it up, buy commodities, and wait another 10 years until then.

May 25, 2011 2:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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