Read The Writing On The Wall


The numbers are big but the math is fairly simple, the United States is in deep financial trouble, we’re digging the hole deeper, and no one in Washington is even thinking about putting down the shovel.

Taking the National Debt Seriously

As of Sept. 30, 2009, the national debt was almost $12 trillion and interest on that debt was $383 billion for the year, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. The Congressional Budget Office on Oct. 7 estimated the 2009 budget deficit to be almost $1.4 trillion (about 10% of GDP). In August, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimated total government revenues at about $2 trillion. The revenue estimate included $904 billion from individual income taxes. This means the cost of interest on the debt represented more than 40 cents of every dollar that came in from individual income taxes.

Except for a few years in the late 1990s, for decades Washington has spent more than it has taken in each year and borrowed the rest. Taxpayer dollars that could have paid off debt each year have instead been spent on interest to finance debt. Unfortunately, that’s a vicious cycle that will likely only get worse.

The OMB projects deficits of about $9 trillion over the next 10 years. If that occurs, the national debt will be almost $21 trillion by 2019. However, the actual amount could be much higher. The OMB also optimistically projects $13.5 trillion of revenue increases over the next decade, while minimizing the inevitable rise in interest rates that will come with an expanding national debt.

During Jimmy Carter’s years in the White House, Treasury yields reached 15%. The 2009 average interest rate on the debt was only 3.2%. With our mounting national debt and budget deficits, it is reasonable to assume that in the near future interest rates on new and refinanced debt could double or triple.

In stark but simple terms, unless Americans are made aware of this financial crisis and demand accountability, the very fabric of our society will be destroyed. Interest rates and interest costs will soar and government revenues will be devoured by interest on the national debt. Eventually, most of what we spend on Social Security, Medicare, education, national defense and much more may have to come from new borrowing, if such funding can be obtained. Left unchecked, this destructive deficit-debt cycle will leave the White House and Congress with either having to default on the national debt or instruct the Treasury to run the printing presses into a policy of hyperinflation.

See also:
US National Debt Clock
Let’s Play Hypocrisy Or Incredibly Shameless Hypocrisy?
Obama’s $2 Trillion Friday Night Dump
Setting Records
You’d Better Sit Down, I’ve Got Some Bad News
Thank You President Obvious
File Under: No [Expletive Deleted] Sherlock!
Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
Spending Like A Drunken Sailor On Crack

/hey, I know, let’s spend a couple trillion more on health care “reform”, cripple the economy with cap and trade, and, oh, how about a second “stimulus”?

2 Responses

  1. […] See also: Do Direct Stimulus Jobs Really Cost $533,000 a Piece?! First Hard Data on Stimulus Released Firms report 30,000 new stimulus jobs Stimulus jobs paying $500,000 — good work if you can get it 30,000 Stimulus Jobs, Many in D.C. Area, Reported Federal contracts show 30,000 stimulus jobs Federal Government says Preliminary Numbers Show 30,000 Jobs Created On stimulus jobs reporting, a big ‘Oops’ 2009 federal deficit surges to $1.42 trillion U.S. Budget Gap Hits Record $1.4 Trillion Treasury reports record deficit U.S. FY 2009 budget deficit a record $1.417 trln US budget deficit hits record 1.4 trillion dlrs: govt Record-High Deficit May Dash Big Plans Deficit Hits $1.4 Trillion, Complicating Stimulus Plans US National Debt Clock Read The Writing On The Wall […]

  2. There is a NYT article on the US debt today (see post at http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/12-trillion-in-debt-living-beyond-our-means/). It hasn’t been just after the financial crisis of 2008 that the US Government has had unbalanced annual budgets… And consider consumer “use” of credit cards? Is there something about our society–about ourselves–that we are missing because we are in it? (e.g. a fish doesn’t “see” its water). I don’t think we are digging deep enough.

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