T Nation

$18.1 Trillion Debt


#1

if and when will this be paid?? who pays??does it matter?


#2

Ask Bernie. He'll know.


#3

Never. The taxpayer pays the interest, which is all that is necessary. Nope, as long as the increase in interest is less that the increase in GDP (as a percentage).

Americans frequently make the mistake of comparing government debt to personal debt. Personal debt has to be repaid at some point, an individual can never pay into perpetuity. Government, on the other hand, can theoretically continue for a long enough period to be considered perpetual. Debt's not a bad thing if you can perpetually service it.

The biggest risks are in social security and medicare, the cost of servicing the debt outpacing increases in revenue, and the likelihood of a revolt as a result of misappropriated funds.


#4

Ask Obama as a Senator, its unpatriotic. Ask him as President, no big deal.


#5

I was looking for a chart I found from the CBO and outlays due to interest payments are increasing relative to everything else.

As you say, this means that there is less money to spend on other things as more of the US's discretionary income is going to service the debt. Plus there is an interest rate hike somewhere in the future.

Nobody really cared until they saw that interest payments were taking a big chunk out of the money available they wanted to spend on another things. McCain and another GOPer went on a mini rampage. I think they called it wastegate. I can't find the original article but this one is kinda funny:


#6

I am surprised no one has mentioned the obvious , we must increase military spending and cut taxes


#7

I think just for the fun of it we should trow in a couple of wars too:)


#8

Republicans say cut taxes and that'll fix everything - deficits are self-liquidating. Democrats say spend more and tax the rich to cover it.

Neither party in the main give a lick about deficits. There are voices in each party interested in addressing the problem, but these voices understand reform requires raising taxes and cutting spending, so they remain pariahs within their respective parties because each of them commits to a principle of heresy.


#9

And the biggest hurdle here is raising taxes on everyone, not just "the rich", and reducing spending everywhere, not just the "military industrial complex".

You're right. Fixing the problem cut to the heart of both parties' scared cows. Tax the poor and cut their funding, and tax the rich and cut right-supported government spending.


#10

Obviously I know what you meant (read "sacred" cow), but couldn't help but LOL as it is written...


#11

lol, yeah man, if I edited all my typos they would ban me for being such a pain in the ass.


#12

Back on topic though...how can policymakers promote the short-term pain our country needs (raise in interest rates, freeze on quantitative easing, increase in taxes, freeze in overall spending, etc.) in a way that the American public can buy into?

Or is this just "not gonna happen"? Are we faced with decades of policymakers who continue to just pass the buck, all while mortgaging our entire future, for their short-term gain, or is there any sign of legitimate hope in this regard?


#13

Generally agreed, but with caveats. I don't think cutting too much aid to the poor is a good idea, nor would it have a huge impact, for example.

But I do believe in flattening the tax code (but still with progressive rates, not a true flat tax), and reduce deductions.

Spending cuts have to include entitlement reform, or we are passing into the wind.


#14

There is no way to dress up chicken shit and pawn it off as chicken salad. This is what happens when government fucks up all the time, you burn the public trust.


#15

Essentially that is what I mean by cutting the funding for the poor. People who've made money and created wealth for themselves can (and largely do) live without that spending, or at the very least supplement it significantly.

It's the average Joe who lived every day like it was his last, and didn't save anything thinking SS would serve them in retirement that is going to be hurt the most. And what I referring to with "poor".

Maybe poor was a bad choice of words... Bad savers and generally dismal budgeters may be better...


#16

Personally, I think it's more likely we colonize the moon, but I could be wrong.


#17

The United States has smidgen of oil now.


#18

$60,333 for every man woman and child


#19

And how much was it per person BEFORE Obama's reign of terror?

Uh huh...


#20

I don't know Zeb but let's remember the way it happened , Bush started 2 wars and cut taxes ( I can't remember which came first) then the economy started to nose dive bringing in even less tax and created a bigger demand on social services Then Obama was elected , then we had to live with a tepid recovery , no tax increase and one of the 2 parties thinking the answer is to pick a fight with Russia or Iran and cut taxes farther . Oh did I mention give the pentagon more money and if you even mention Audit the Pentagon , you are UNPATRIOTIC . Sorry for the rant:)