T Nation

National Debt - Is it a Crisis Yet?



But but but..we need more stimulus packages...the Chosen One says so.


Wait until your all crying about getting hit with the "double dip" bat...

What would YOU do as Obama? Suggest an alternative


We're still way behind Japan and the more profligate Euro-states.

Although I could have sworn England's debt/GDP was higher than my link describes.

There is room yet before a crisis.

What is disturbing is that we are neck-in-neck with France. France last balanced its budget more than 30 years ago. http://www.economist.com/node/16381254?story_id=16381254


back in the 80's each man , woman and child owed over 30,000 now it is 80,000. the problem is the time to fix that problem is when the economy is doing good. I do not agree with all the stimulus effort but I think The Repubilcans not voting to extend unemployement will bite them in the ass.


The ability to service the debt is what's important. With rates so low, the government can CURRENTLY do so with a lot less pain. The real shitstorm happens when interest rates inevitably rise. Imagine if 10 year notes had to pay 6% or 7% instead of the paltry 3% now!

I think that this is the calm before the real storm. Once rates start edging up, it'll snowball. The government will have to vacuum up any capital, shutting out business even more from the credit markets.

By 2015, I see 30% unemployment, bank failures by the thousands, and David Petraeus as the martial law de facto ruler of America.


yes, but complicating our picture is that by the time we are in need of debt serving even with higher interest rates, there will be no lenders left with pockets deep enough . . . the European and Asian nations will have swallowed up what available credit still exists. IF we don't lower our debt, there will not be any one big enough to help when we really need it.


Anyone here willing to defend a Keynesian approach and call for more spending/debt creation?


I supported some kind of stimulus at the beginning (not the version that passed, which was mechanically no stimulus at all) as opposed to tax cuts (as a stimulus, I support tax cuts generally).

However, a second "stimulus" at this point is indefensible (I think) for a number of reasons:

  1. No on trusts that it would be decently constructed or properly targeted given the first stimulus' abject stupidity - so there would be zero "psychological" bump for investors and consumers. Part of a stimulus' desired effect is psychological, but investors and consumers at this point would just think "great, more money wasted like the first time".

  2. Given the incredible and unknown commitment of the health care bill on businesses, businesses remain hesitant to commit resources for growth (hiring, investment, etc.). No second stimulus will ameliorate that trepidation, and that trepidation is a big part of why the economy is flagging: uncertainty about the future. Another layer of massive spending simply won't help because it does nothing to provide comfort about the future.

That's the great irony and idiocy of Obama's lack of vision: his insanely ideological push for a HC bill (when the pressing issue was the economy) has now provided a huge drag on a weak economy and tied his hands to attempt (or sell) any additional policy designed to help the economy.

It is a tremendous failure of leadership because it is a complete failure to prioritize.

Short answer: I don't think anyone can defend a second stimulus, except dishonestly: some folks just want the feds to spend more in certain areas, "stimulative" effect or not, and a "stimulus" is just a means to argue for it.


Paul Krugman: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1

"And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world â?? most recently at last weekendâ??s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting â?? governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

In 2008 and 2009, it seemed as if we might have learned from history. Unlike their predecessors, who raised interest rates in the face of financial crisis, the current leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank slashed rates and moved to support credit markets. Unlike governments of the past, which tried to balance budgets in the face of a plunging economy, todayâ??s governments allowed deficits to rise. And better policies helped the world avoid complete collapse: the recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.

But future historians will tell us that this wasnâ??t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasnâ??t the end of the Great Depression. After all, unemployment â?? especially long-term unemployment â?? remains at levels that would have been considered catastrophic not long ago, and shows no sign of coming down rapidly. And both the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps."


I am not sure if I unemployement would qualify for YOUR keynesian definition. I think it is a program that is foolish to not continue when you have two wars and a war on drugs just raging.

On the war on drugs , I wonder withh all the money we put into it , would it be cheaper to just buy all the drugs rather than supply all the narco Countries with compensation , all the small town cops shaking down druggies, running them through the court system and incarcerating them.


"Reagan proved that deficits don't matter" - Dick Cheney.


Did you believe that when he said it? Do you believe it now?

I don't think anyone is questioning that the republicans had a hand in debt problems, but Obama is making it much, much worse.


Build a time machine.


Think of all that money that we'd have to devote to healthcare without having to support the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Deficits only evidently matter when you're trying to help Americans, but not when you're invading other countries, as evidenced by the teabaggers' non-existence during the Bush years.


Nice sidestep of the question.

Either you believe deficits matter or you don't.


Of course they matter, but they're not going to severely affect the economy until they become stratospherically high.

And even then. Come collect. We dare you.


At what point do the debt levels become stratospherically high? Because I believe we're already there.

Most people don't realize how much even $1 trillion is. To put it in perspective, 1 trillion seconds is roughly 32,000 years. Our national debt is now over $13 trillion.

At what point should we begin to pull in the reigns a little and start to pay that down?



This is an opinion that has two sides, there is the side that says spending will stimulate the economy and there is the side that says it will make it worse.

I think Obama's approach is new to the YOUNG Republican group because they think if we cut taxes on the most wealthy they will reinvest that money in our economy. And it will trickle down to the little people. And if we do away with all regulations on business they will flourish and the free market will keep them legitimate

Obama's approach is a little more direct. Cut taxes on the less advantaged and demand honesty and good ethics from business. I have my issues I do not like about Obama.


They definatly matter , the time to deal with the deficit is when times are good like Clinton did , Bush should had done the same