The Truth in the US National Debt

Recently we have heard a lot of talk about the bailouts pushing our debt to over 11 trillion dollars. And, of course nobody can fathom numbers like that. Here, for starters, let me write it out with all the zeros – 11,000,000,000,000 trillion dollars. That is a lot of zeros huh?

In 2003 the median household made about $50,000 a year. So with that said, it would take 220 million households to work for free for a year to pay off a debt like that. More interesting is that we only have approximately 305 million people in America, and of course not all of them are working and not all of them are making the median $50k. In other words, it would take us a few years of working for free.

Furthermore, do you realize what $1 TRILLION is and what has bought in the past. Here is a list from the WSJ.

  • One trillion dollars is about one-third of annual US government spending and 13% of the US economy
  • It is more than the GDP of all but 12 countries in 2007 (US, Japan, Germany, China, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and India, in that order)
  • One trillion is roughly one-sixth of the entire outstanding US federal debt held by the public [one-tenth if you include intra-governmental debt (such as Social Security IOUs)]
  • It is the cost that former Vice President Gore attaches to his plan to liberate the US of carbon-based energy.
  • From an historical perspective, we spent:
    1. $15 million on the Louisiana Purchase; $261 million in today’s dollars; and $409 billion rescaled as a share of the current economy
    2. $775 billion in rescaled dollars on the Marshall plan
    3. $7 billion in current dollars for the Panama Canal
    4. $32 billion for the New Deal; $500 billion in today’s dollars
    5. $140 billion for the Apollo space program in today’s dollars
    6. $29 billion in today’s dollars for the Manhattan project — to develop the atomic bomb
    7. $114 billion for the interstate highway system; $800 billion today
    • The WSJ concludes: “The only specific American endeavor, ever, that tipped the trillion-dollar scale was World War II. That war – in which 16 million US troops [including some of you] fought for four years over two fronts – cost about $4 trillion in adjusted dollars, or $17 trillion in today’s GDP.

    Does anyone else see this as being so incredibly messed up?

    To make matters worse, this is the raw national debt. This is not the debt including interest and the money promised to the elderly, the Baby Boomers, and other citizens.

    That number is 57 trillion dollars. (link) This is five times what your politician will admit to. Problem? Hello!

    And now we have a President that promises to spend his way out of this fiasco. Oh great. Can you imagine doing this in your own personal life?

    This is what I hear, “Hey honey, we have a debt of $500,000… So, go buy a Porsche 911, give all the neighbors a few thousand dollars, and throw an extravagant party with filet mignot, lobster, and an open bar for anyone who can stumble in. Oh don’t worry about the cost honey. We are going to rob the rich guy down the street. He has too much anyways.”
    This is what I call….. Bullshit.


    6 Responses to “The Truth in the US National Debt”

    1. 25 January 2009 at 11:18

      You have, unfortunately, only scratched the surface. During Bush’s term, an estimated $8.5 trillion bailout was formed … the $800 Billion figure being thrown around is a sham, this is simply the stock market bailout. A much more important question to ask is … Where exactly is this money coming from? … the worst part, it is simply being printed. Can you imagine what printing $8.5 Trillion will do to the Dollar? Neither can I, but we will soon find out.

      I recommend you check out http://www.chrismartenson.com/. It is loaded in facts, slightly biased, but well structured. If you haven’t watched the propoganda films like Zeitgeist, IOUSA, and the like, they are loaded in propoganda, but also contain quite a bit of fact.

      It is hard to blame Obama at this point, he hasn’t actually done a great deal yet. If he continues to print money the way Bush did, we are in for the ride of our life.

      … Oh, and I don’t think there were ever plans of paying off the US deficit. The real rulers of America have something far more sinister planned.

    2. 25 January 2009 at 19:48

      I think the answer of where the money is coming from is easy – nowhere.

      I’m not blaming Obama for what has already happened. What I do blame him for is continuing the same BS and never saying anything about ending this sham, which would start with the abolishment of the Federal Reserve.

      … Oh, and I don’t think there were ever plans of paying off the US deficit. The real rulers of America have something far more sinister planned.


    3. 26 January 2009 at 10:25

      I think the answer of where the money is coming from is easy – nowhere.

      Nowhere is well, a bit of an understatement. You should look into how the Federal Reserve operates, it may answer a lot of questions … while opening many more. Much of the federal debt is to them, which makes little sense from a logical point of view. But, from an illogical point of view, theoretically we have an unlimited money supply … so, as many billionaires say, “What crisis?”

    4. 26 January 2009 at 17:16

      @Zhann: You are preaching to the choir here. I am well aware of the Federal Reserve and how it operates. I am a big advocate for ending the Fed.

    5. 23 November 2009 at 09:51

      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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