Friday, July 13, 2012

27 Things That Every American Should Know About The National Debt

Michael Snyder, Contributor
Activist Post

The U.S. government has stolen $15,876,457,645,132.66 from future generations of Americans, and we continue to add well over a hundred million dollars to that total every single day day.

The 15 trillion dollar binge that we have been on over the past 30 years has fueled the greatest standard of living the world has ever seen, but this wonderful prosperity that we have been enjoying has been a lie. It isn't real. We have been living way above our means for so long that we do not have any idea of what "normal" actually is anymore.

But every debt addict hits "the wall" eventually, and the same thing is going to happen to us as a nation. At some point the weight of our national debt is going to cause our financial system to implode, and every American will feel the pain of that collapse. Under our current system, there is no mathematical way that this debt can ever be paid back. The road that we are on will either lead to default or to hyperinflation. We have piled up the biggest debt in the history of the world, and if there are future generations of Americans they will look back and curse us for what we did to them. We like to think of ourselves as much wiser than previous generations of Americans, but the truth is that we have been so foolish that it is hard to put it into words.

Whenever I do an article about the national debt, Democrats leave comments blaming the Republicans and Republicans leave comments blaming the Democrats.

Well you know what? Both parties are to blame. Both of them get a failing grade.

If the Republicans really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.

If the Democrats really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.

So let's not pretend that one of the political parties is "the hero" in this little drama.

The damage has been done, and both parties will go down in history as being grossly negligent on fiscal issues during this period of American history.

Sadly, neither party is showing any signs of changing their ways.

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is promising to eliminate the federal budget deficit in 2013. They both talk about how the budget will be balanced "someday", but as we have seen so many times in the past, "someday" never comes.

I didn't mean to get political in this article, but the truth is that the national debt threatens to destroy everything that previous generations have built, and our politicians continue to give us nothing but excuses.

The following are 27 things that every American should know about the national debt....

#1 It took more than 200 years for the U.S. national debt to reach 1 trillion dollars. In 1986, the U.S. national debt reached 2 trillion dollars. In 1992, the U.S. national debt reached 4 trillion dollars. In 2005, the U.S. national debt doubled again and reached 8 trillion dollars. Now the U.S. national debt is about to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark. How long can this kind of exponential growth go on?

#2 If the average interest rate on U.S. government debt rises to just 7 percent, the U.S. government will find itself spending more than a trillion dollars per year just on interest on the national debt.

#3 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

#4 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer.

#5 Barack Obama will become the first president to run deficits of more than a trillion dollars during each of his first four years in office.

#6 If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

#7 The U.S. national debt has increased by more than 1.6 trillion dollars since the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. So far, this Congress has added more to the national debt than the first 97 Congresses combined.

#8 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more new debt than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Bill Clinton became president.

#9 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.

#10 As Bill Whittle has shown, you could take every single penny that every American earns above $250,000 and it would only fund about 38 percent of the federal budget.

#11 Today, the government debt to GDP ratio in the United States is well over 100 percent.

#12 A recently revised IMF policy paper entitled “An Analysis of U.S. Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: Who Will Pay and How?” projects that U.S. government debt will rise to about 400 percent of GDP by the year 2050.

#13 The United States already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain does.

#14 At this point, the United States government is responsible for more than a third of all the government debt in the entire world.

#15 The amount of U.S. government debt held by foreigners is about 5 times larger than it was just a decade ago.

#16 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#17 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will surpass 23 trillion dollars in 2015.

#18 Mandatory federal spending surpassed total federal revenue for the first time ever in fiscal 2011. That was not supposed to happen until 50 years from now.

#19 Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26%, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61% during that same time period.

#20 The U.S. government has total assets of 2.7 trillion dollars and has total liabilities of 17.5 trillion dollars. The liabilities do not even count 4.7 trillion dollars of intragovernmental debt that is currently outstanding.

#21 U.S. households are now actually receiving more money directly from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#22 The U.S. government is wasting your money on some of the stupidest things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the National Institutes of Health spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.

#23 If the federal government used GAAP accounting standards like publicly traded corporations do, the real federal budget deficit for last year would have been 5 trillion dollars instead of 1.3 trillion dollars.

#24 The Federal Reserve purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.

#25 At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

#26 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 480,000 years to completely pay off the national debt.

#27 The official government debt figure does not even account for massive unfunded liabilities that the U.S. government will be hit with in the years ahead. According to Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, the U.S. government is facing a future "fiscal gap" of more than 200 trillion dollars.

As the U.S. economy continues to crumble, even more Americans are going to become financially dependent on the federal government.

For example, spending on food stamps has doubled since 2008. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and have needed some assistance from the government. Since Obama became president the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.

But the Obama administration believes that a lot more Americans should be enrolled in the food stamp program. The Obama administration is now spending millions of dollars on ads that urge even more people to sign up for food stamps. In fact, their efforts to get even more Americans to sign up for food stamps have become very creative....
The government has been targeting Spanish speakers with radio 'novelas' promoting food stamp usage as part of a stated mission to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. 
Each novela, comprising a 10-part series called 'PARQUE ALEGRIA,' or 'HOPE PARK,' presents a semi-dramatic scenario involving characters convincing others to get on food stamps, or explaining how much healthier it is to be on food stamps.
I'm all for helping those that cannot feed themselves, but do we really need to run ads urging more people to become dependent on the government?

Of course Obamacare is going to cause our debt to balloon in size as well. It is being projected that Obamacare will add more than 2.6 trillion dollars to the U.S. national debt over the first decade alone.

So where are we going to get all this money?

We can't keep spending money that we do not have. We have got to prioritize. Every single category of government spending needs to be cut.

But instead we feel like we can keep ripping off future generations of Americans and that we will always be able to get away with it.

What we have done to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal.

The truth is that we should have listened to the warnings of our founding fathers about government debt. For example, Thomas Jefferson once said that if he could add just one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution it would be a complete ban on all borrowing by the federal government....
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
Where would we be today if we had taken the advice of Thomas Jefferson?

That is something to think about.

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This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


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Anonymous said...

S'not hard for me to put into words; meaningless is what it is (if it ever had meaning, which it doesn't and never did). The financial system is so wrought with fraud and corruption it can't claim any legitimacy and never could. Therefore, it is meaningless.
If we were smart we wouldn't grind our teeth, wring our hands, or submit to any of it's demands. Boy, oh boy, why can't we be more like Iceland?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the 176 TRILLION that was given to the FRAUDSTERS to bail out the banks!!!! 15 trillion pales in comparison. Not ONE Average American was able to save their homes because the Fraudsters stole every last dime...

Anonymous said...

This maniacal fixation on the national debt is solely from the point of view of oligarchs, hellbent on destroying YOUR hard won and hard fought economic rights, don't believe this bullshit! The way the US paid off the phenomenal debt for the New Deal was to GROW THE ECONOMY, NOT IMPOSING AUSTERITY! Austerity is GENOCIDE! DO NOT DESTROY AMERICA TO PAY OFF THE FINANCIERS WHO DESTROYED OUR ECONOMY IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Anonymous said...

Money is illusory wealth anyway. The real crime we are committing is the raping of resources from the Earth without replenishing them to feed our incessant greed for more trinkets, the latest gadgets and monetary wealth. The only real wealth is Nature, and we are destroying her at a fast clip.
In the end, Mother Earth will no longer be able to sustain us. The occurrence of extreme weather events is just one of the signs that the Earth is totally out of balance, sick and dying. These events will only increase in number and ferocity as Mother Earth attempts to rid herself of this cancer called mankind. The mysterious sounds or so called horns of Gabriel being heard across the planet are coming from the Earth herself as she calls out to the universe for help. The sun is beginning to respond in kind with the first X flare having been belched out toward the earth just yesterday. It's going to be one hell of an interesting ride from here on out. said...


Here here!

but the mad men they have placed in charge are only going to mess things up more

Anonymous said...

Number 12 is really a joke. As if the US government is going to still exist in 2050.

Jamie Dimon said...

Bankers are the foundation of this country. We have worked to build this nation and save it through two world wars. We build the schools and the highways and we provide the funding for your home and car.

In difficult times people always look to blame someone else. But the bankers are not at fault. The people should look at themselves.

Anonymous said...

Debt is what we trade in. Its our wampum, clamshells, gold, trinkets, whatever. Debt is all TPTB allow us to have (at the moment).

This article, and the big garish sign they assail us with suggests WE should feel guilty. They have us right where they want us. Are we stupid or what?

Anonymous said...

@ Jamie -- this may have been true when finance was actully about finance, your know raising capitol for projects. Now, that is just a small fraction of what finance is today. Its mainly using other peoples hard earned money to stuff your pockets with!

Anonymous said...

Ugh.. at environmentalist anon. Mother earth is sick and dying? Where the hell do you get that idea? Mother earth is just that, mother earth. If her spawn can't hack it, they die off like the rest, not her.

This planet has been kicking for billions of years and only the most arrogent wack jobs believe they are of such importance that they(and by that I mean everyone but you) has the ability to trash her to the point point where she is dying(Intro sob music as poor little Jimmy scapes at the last bits of dust with his dying breathe).

That's complete bullshit. The only thing on it's way out, at best, would be us.

Maybe if more people stopped whining about about poor weak mother, we'd have a better chance at exploring the options she has given us to survive within. After all, the rules of nature were written long before there was some crackpot to whine about it.

Anonymous said...

DAle claims:

This article distorts many facts. Here are two"

#4 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer.

Comment: the budget and deficit for 2009 were passed in 2008 before he was even elected President. Thru the stimulus, he added 400 billion to the deficit in 2009, which had the result of ending the negative growth (recession) and ending huge job losses by early 2010. The 2009 budget was proposed and approved by Bush.

Since Obama's policies took effect, the debt of 4 trillion has helped turn around the stock market (by over 90%), returned corporations to record profits, and helped create 4 million jobs. It's not just what you pay, but what you get for what you pay.

#5 Barack Obama will become the first president to run deficits of more than a trillion dollars during each of his first four years in office.

Comment: again, the 2009 budget was Bush's. The percent increase under Obama budgets has been about 35% so far, as the debt under the Bush budget of 2008-9 rose to over 12 trillion, and it started at 6 trillion, a 100% increase, tho Bush inherited huge surpluses while Obama inherited an the worst recession in 80 years.

Bush doubled the budget and created negative private sector jobs, with 8 million lost during the recession of 2007-9. Obama's budgets, which were weighted down by 2 costly wars Bush started, have turned around the freefall negative GDP growth and 800K per month job losses.

I am not voting for Obama, but it is dishonest to blame him for the trillion dollar budget he inherited from Bush and to fail to point out that his deficits resulted in an economic turnaround. He has made over nearly a trillion in tax cuts (280 billion in the stimulus), through the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and the payroll tax cut to 150 million workers. Is cutting taxes "wasteful spending?"

It is important to stick to the facts. This article is clearly biased (as it admonishes to forgo partisan arguments).

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but the world and Nature are not ruled by money. The world is ruled by the sword has been and always will be. The people who have lent to us will never be able collect. If you lend to some nation that lacks the military to defend themselves then maybe you can force them to pay, but USA is the world's strongest military and no nation will support the bankers and declare war on America to collect the debt. The fools who have bought US bonds will have to use the paper they are written on for wall paper. Paper money is paper the promise to pay does not mean that the promise will be kept.
To collect a debt you have to have law. But there is no such thing as international law as far as the USA in concerned. The UN can make a resolution and we say denied.

Anonymous said...

@Obama's anon. While you are talikng about president down grade(He was in office when it happened don't ya know), why don't you include the party that was in control at the time. As, the last few years of would be king Bush(in the eyes of his detractors) was in office, the democrat party had control. Clinton's last few years, republicans in control.

Why must everyone think the president is our king? Oh, I know, because not a fucking one of them is devoted to the principles of a constitutional republic and idiots vote.

Now I'm not tryin' here to get too deep into schemantics, but this round robin crap is getting old.

We all know it was Bush's fault. We all know if it were't for that pesky kid and his do... I mean the tea party freshmen, we'd all just be doing so peachy right now.

Anonymous said...

@UN anon. I wasn't going to continue my barking, but I am an avid hater of the UN.

Their only purpose is for the various elites to gather their collective ruler thumb and vote the free peoples down.

Yeah, they claim to be fighting for human rights, but most dumbasses don't even know what human rights are.

It's all some twisted road to hell paved with good intentions lead by some jackle evil ass that knows how to manipulate dumbasses.

Senka said...

What’s happening with the Mortgage Task Force?! Nothing really – it doesn’t exist!

It’s been almost three months since we sent this letter to the Office of NY Attorney General ( We never got any response, not even their usual form “thank you” letter! These people are in charge of running the Mortgage Task Force, but so far they were only able to change the name of this “force” to the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Working Group This name sounds more like a fancy investment vehicle, as it used to be presented!

Anonymous said...

Please explain where all of the interest money that we've been paying for the last 99 years has been going.

Anonymous said...

Multiply everything by at least 3. Dont
forget the interest that'l accrue until
the debt is paid. Which it wont, lets
just go bankrupt and bring back public
hanging. Lets see if the banksters
try it again.

Anonymous said...

The American people can do what Iceland did. Declare that it's illegal to cause national debt in the country and cancel any that has been placed on the government. Put all the bankers in jail along with the crooked politicians who allowed them to get the country in debt. Elect a new government that prints it's own money (Our Constitution demands that no one else print it and charge interest on it like we allow the federal reserve which is a group of private bankers who have raped this country since 1913) And forgive all the fraudulent loans so the homeowners can go on with their lives.
That's if we have teh guts to do the right thing like Iceland did.

Anonymous said...

Much prefer the comments to this lie ridden guilt trip of an article. Should've called it "Lets start a war and blame the middle class".

Anonymous said...

ditto 8:42AM comment

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