You’d Better Sit Down, I’ve Got Some Bad News

Investors Business Daily, USA Today, Financial Times of London, and Pravda sum up the ugly truth about this country’s dire financial situation.

What We Owe: $64 Trillion, And Counting

OK, take a deep breath. You might need it after we tell you this: You now owe more than half a million dollars, not counting your home mortgage, credit cards and other debt. Don’t remember running it up?

Well, technically, you didn’t. The government did it for you. And USA Today has done us all a favor by taking out a calculator and doing the basic math. It’s beyond ugly.

Each household owes an additional $55,000, thanks to the soaring spending by the federal government on retirement programs just in the past year.

All told, each household at the end of 2008 owed $546,668. That’s four times what American households owe for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt.

Looking long term is where it really gets scary. Recently, we learned the U.S. had $101 trillion in retirement and health care obligations over the next 75 years. The only problem is, at current tax rates we’ll have only $53 trillion to pay for it all.

That leaves a gaping hole of $48 trillion.

It gets worse. The stimulus plans and bailouts pushed into the budget by President Obama and congressional Democrats will add $9 trillion to our national debt over the next 10 years alone.

Add to that an expected $1.1 trillion spent over the same time to fund a government takeover of our health care system — an estimate most health care experts, by the way, believe is laughably low — and you have the makings of an epic financial tragedy.

Total federal debt will soar from 41% of GDP to 82% in just 10 years — more debt than we rang up in 235 years of existence. And over the next half-century, Americans will owe $63 trillion — 4.5 times our current GDP of $14 trillion.

“We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America,” David Walker, former U.S. comptroller, told USA Today. “Except, unlike a real mortgage, it’s not backed up by a house.”

Americans can’t be blamed for hyperventilating when they see such numbers emerging from the most fiscally irresponsible government in our nation’s history.

Even the nation’s president, in a moment of unguarded frankness last week, admitted that “we are out of money.”

Was that supposed to inspire confidence? Or was it merely a prelude to asking for a spate of new taxes to pay for it all — turning the U.S. economy from a vibrant, job-creation machine into a stagnant, European-style welfare state?

The current administration already has proposed or is mulling as many as 10 new taxes — everything from a European-style VAT (a national sales tax) to intrusive new taxes on beer, fast food, cigarettes and other sinful indulgences, to cap and trade, which is nothing more than a federal tax on energy.

Two weeks ago, Standard & Poor’s warned Britain it could lose its AAA rating because its national debt will soon hit 100% of GDP. Well, guess what? We’re heading down the same road. A story in the usually staid Financial Times of London last week said it all: “Exploding Debt Threatens America.”

More brutal was last week’s assessment of Russia’s Pravda, the former house organ for the Soviet communist regime: “The American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed.” Ouch.

We’d like to disagree, but at least one of those newspapers is right. And unless we Americans stand up and tell our elected officials to stop this insane surge in spending and taxing, we’ll pay for it for decades to come.

See also:
Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink
Exploding debt threatens America
American capitalism gone with a whimper
Spending Like A Drunken Sailor On Crack

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Seriously, we can’t afford to keep spending like this! The politicians in Washington must know that this financial predicament will literally break the back of the United States sooner rather than later at this rate of uncontrolled spending, but they’re either oblivious or don’t seem to care. Even Obama has recently said that this debt load is “unsustainable” and that “we’re out of money now“. But he doesn’t seem to care either. Hell, he’s off to New York for a Broadway “date” with his wife at taxpayer expense. You may as well tack your share of that cost to your bill too.

The Chinese and the rest of the foreign U.S. debt holders around the world know all to well how deep the debt hole is that we’ve dug for ourselves and they’re getting nervous. Unless the United States does something drastic, and does it soon, our debt holders will eventually quit enabling our reckless fiscal behavior and stop buying our debt cold turkey. If and when that happens, the U.S. economy will quickly collapse like a house of cards on top of the U.S. taxpayers and any semblance of a standard of living we once enjoyed. How’s that for something to look forward to?

/of course, the critical and sobering question is, how are we going to save ourselves, who’s going to step up, how are they going to step up, and when are they going to step up?