Every American Owes $100,000 in the National Debt
“A trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
“Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together,” Rep. Barney Frank, whose prostitute aide ran a male brothel from his Capitol Hill home, once observed.
The former congressman claimed that he had no idea his boyfriend was running a male brothel and most people don’t know the government had racked up $34 trillion in debt.
Sometimes the things we do together are really the things being done to us.
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Back in 2020, the national debt was at $26 trillion and that amounted to $80,885 for each of us. Now, after three years of the “adults” being “back in charge”, our share of the debt is $100,000 each. Or $100,696, if you want to be exact, and $257,275 per household.
In the four years since 2019, a whopping $12 trillion was added to the national debt.
During the subprime mortgage crisis, the national debt hit $10 trillion. In 2010, the Tea Party movement arose in response to an unacceptably high $13 trillion national debt and endless government spending. But by the time Obama was done, the national debt had nearly doubled to $20 trillion. And now here we are living large with an impossible $34 trillion debt.
Over the spring, Congress raised the debt limit to $31 trillion. In two centuries, Congress only tampered with the debt limit 58 times and then it raised the debt limit 21 times in this century.
Every time the debt limit is raised, the government gets permission to steal more money.
And when the debt limit is reached, a cry goes up that Congress is obligated to raise the debt limit or, as recent proposals would have it, abolish it entirely. But while Congress can get rid of the debt limit, which mostly exists for political virtue signaling, it can’t abolish the effects of debt.
Currently we’re at a debt that amounts to 125% of GDP and the Congressional Budget Office recently projected that by 2043, we’ll be at over 150% and by 2053, we’ll be at 192%.
This seems wildly optimistic.
The bad news and the good news is that nobody wants our debt. Foreign nations, including China, have been selling off their share of our debt, so have our own banks: some of which were partly brought down by all that paper. The Biden administration keeps printing debt to pay for the interest on all the debt that it already ran up and there are few takers.
Dumping $22 trillion in debt into a market already running the other way wasn’t smart.
Bonds offered at higher interest rates means that more of the debt goes to servicing the interest on the debt. We have a government of loan sharks offering us up to the world to be in hock to debts that we can never repay at escalating rates just so they can have more spending money.
Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s have all issued warnings about the level of debt and the fiscal stability of the country. And they’ve all been ignored as just more background noise.
Politicians claim that each insane budget is really a series of “investments”. If these are investments, then the president is Bernie Madoff. What’s remarkable is how little such an enormous debt bought us. Unlike the catastrophic events that triggered past debts, we did not fight a major war or even suffer any economic calamities other than the self-inflicted kind.
$6 trillion in debt was added after we reopened the economy and stopped writing blank checks to every foreign scammer claiming that he was employing 1,000 workers in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bill Clinton introduced us to the $2 trillion budget, Bush to the $3 trillion budget, Obama to the $4 trillion budget and then $6 trillion spending sprees became the norm. Biden’s last proposed budget was $6.8 trillion. Another term will inevitably take us to a $7 trillion dollar budget and beyond. Each of those budgets claims that their spending sprees are investments that will be offset through economic growth once we fund lesbian pottery classes for everyone in Maine.
“I am inspired by America’s progress—and I am more determined than ever to keep our country moving forward,” Obama wrote on his $4 trillion budget request. And he certainly has.
We kept right on moving forward into debt at a rate no alcoholic in a liquor store could duplicate.
Obama promised that his 2017 budget would reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion. His budget, like every budget, was hailed as transformative, promising to solve our social problems, restore our technological edge, cure diseases and usher in world peace. None of that happened.
What are we actually getting for our money?
Biden’s Inflation Increase Act allocated $7.5 billion to be spent on electric car chargers for the small percentage of the country that owns a Tesla or some other overpriced and taxpayer funded electric junker. So far not one has been built. $6 billion will be sent to California to help build the high-speed rail to nowhere project which was supposed to cost $9 billion in the 90s and is currently budgeted at $128 billion. The train, of which not one mile of track has been built, promises to one day run at 220 miles an hour on solar power. But mostly by burning cash.
This is where our money goes. Billions of dollars are allocated to proposals developed by politically connected consultants which are then spent by the consultants on more consulting. Nothing ever gets built because then there would be less money to spend on conducting environmental reviews (by consultants) and reaching out to stakeholders (by consultants) and then lobbying for more money by explaining that all the other money had conditions attached to it that prevented it from being properly spent, but this time the consultants will get it right.
“Wake me up at any time in the middle of the night and ask me what they are doing, and I will say they are stealing,” Czar Alexander II reportedly once said.
We could have spent trillions conquering Canada, colonizing Mars or constructing a pyramid covering all of South Dakota that could be seen from space, and then at least we would have something to show for our money. Instead we bankrupted our children so that politically connected consultants could buy mansions while promising to save the planet from us.
America of 2024 combines the least appealing features of a kakistocracy, an oligarchy and a kleptocracy which holds elections to distract us from how much money is being stolen.
By the time the next election rolls around, a $34 trillion debt will turn into a $35 trillion debt.
“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money,” Sen. Everett Dirksen had observed in 1962. That year the federal budget crossed $100 billion for the first time in history.
Today, $100 billion (or more accurately $110 billion) is what the Fed is spending to cover cash losses. No one has really paid much attention because $110 billion is hardly money anymore.
The new motto is “a trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
Article posted with permission from Daniel Greenfield