$23,000,000,000,000 and Counting


On January 8, 1835, President Andrew Jackson accomplished something that has never been done since – he paid off the US national debt, and the country was debt-free. Today the nation’s debt is more than $23 trillion (this is what it looks like in real numbers: $23,000,000,000,000). This means that every American owes $68,400 to pay off the debt. The amount per person, just like the national debt itself, increases each second of every day. Our $23 trillion debt is the largest in the world.

Last Year The Government Spent $35,148. Per Household
While the federal government collects $26,677 per household, in taxes, it spends $35,148. What is wrong with this picture? Who can run a household like that? If this is broken down into categories, it will look like this: $13,178 is for Social Security/Medicare. A total of $6,483 is earmarked for anti-poverty programs that provide health services to low-income families. The defense adds another $5,312. This covers everything from military paychecks to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to research, development, and acquisition of new technologies and equipment. Of course, we cannot forget interest on the national debt which takes another $3,054. There is also $1,556 budgeted for Veterans’ benefits and $1,154 for federal employee retirement benefits. Education receives $876 (each state picks up the larger part of the tab), while $557 goes to justice spending for federal attorneys and prisons. A total of $533 is budgeted for health research and regulations. A total of $493 is geared for highways and mass transit. International affairs consume another $422. This basic total is what is spent per household, although it does not include $1,530 for all other federal programs such as disaster aid, natural resources, and so forth.

Can The US Pay Off This Staggering Debt?
Those in the know say there are four ways the US can pay off the debt. The first is to cut spending (gee, just like in a regular household). The second way is to raise taxes. This would slow growth. The third way is to drive economic growth at a faster rate than the debt. The fourth way is one that is rarely considered, and it involves Congress shifting spending to areas that create the most jobs. Now, few people discuss another possibility, but there is a fifth way, and that is through bankruptcy. No one knows how that would work, it has been discussed, but very rarely. How many times in our new year have you heard any of the politicians discussing these four possibilities, let alone discussing the national debt? It is rarely discussed, and it is going to be an increasingly difficult situation for future generations.

Things To Think About For The Future
For the US to pay down our national debt, you would need to combine the Gross National Products (GDP) of China, Japan, and India. We presently have $125 trillion in unfunded liabilities. By the year 2028, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts the US debt held by the public will reach 100 percent of GDP. In 2008 the interest on the federal debt was $253 billion. The interest for 2019 was roughly 89 percent higher. Last year the interest on the federal debt was $479 billion. In five years, the amount to pay our national debt will cost more than our military spending. These are startling facts, but they apparently are not alarming enough to cause the politicians to be more concerned and to take action now while it is still possible to do something.





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