Thursday, November 17, 2011

$15 Trillion

Yesterday, the US National Debt crossed the $15 Trillion dollar mark; more specifically, $15.0048 at the moment. The debt to GDP ratio is 100% as accurately as I believe such things can be known; the Debt Clock currently has it at 99.861%.  By rough calculation, that will cross 100% before Thanksgiving.  A more depressing and ominous piece of news is that the Federal Reserve has become the largest holder of US Bonds.  In other words, we are creating money out of thin air (well, out of thin bits) so that we can loan the money to ourselves.  Money that is backed by absolutely nothing and is worth exactly that - nothing.

In addition to that depressing number, add in $116.5 Trillion in unfunded liabilities.  Unfunded means just that; it's money that has been promised out (Medicare, Social Security, Medicare Prescription Drug coverage...), but that has no funding behind it.  Money is going to magically appear out of thin air, right when it's needed.  Just like the magic Skittles. 
I have posted on this topic many, many times, and I'm as tired of writing about as I'm sure most people are of hearing about it.  It's hard to talk with those who are not good at math because they invariably say "why is it different now?  You just hate Obama, you racist pig".  So some highlights in brief:
  • Yes, deficits matter.  We borrowed real money from real people both here and in foreign countries, and we promised to pay it back.  They expect and deserve to be paid back with real money.  So the rest of the world should just forget our debts, like the #OWS crowd thinks about student loans?  Do you really think that?  If so, can I borrow a few hundred thousand dollars till next week?  If you inflate the dollar to worthlessness, don't you think the Chinese, Japanese and the rest of the world would be mad at us?
  • The government can't tax their way out of this.  To heck with taxing the "richest 1%", if the government took every single penny from every billionaire, every millionaire and from every single person with an income of over $250,000, the money would be gone in under 200 days.  In my opinion, the talk about "taxing the rich" they float is just to inflame class hatred and envy. 
  • Hauser's Law may be a really counter-intuitive thing, but it has been true for a long time.  No matter what tax rates are, the tax revenues are roughly 19% of GDP.  We just can't spend more than that consistently. 
  • No country with a Debt to GDP ratio much beyond ours has ever survived it as anything other than a walking corpse.  Most have undergone economic collapse.  
  • We borrow roughly 43 cents of every federal dollar we spend.  If we truly intend to reduce that national debt, we not only need to cut out that 43 cents of spending, we need to run surpluses as far as the eye can see.  Our great-grandchildren can think about deficit spending.
  • No one in government has proposed spending cuts like we really need.  Ron Paul (as candidate, not Representative) has proposed shutting down whole departments of the fed.gov hydra.  Rick Perry has proposed capping spending at Hauser's Law, which is more definitive about cutting spending.   
  • It truly is the spending. 
Most people don't understand exponentials.  We are in a phase that is exploding toward infinity.  It simply can't continue, that's mathematically impossible.  Worse yet, large segments of society howl like they're being fed into a wood chipper if the fed.gov simply doesn't give them more every year, let alone actually cutting their free sh*t. 

And this is why I think an economic collapse is inescapable.  Right now, I'm leaning toward next summer, although all the pieces are in place such that it could happen any minute. 


3 comments:

Osmium said...

As with all fiat currencies, the entire scheme will collapse. Between the rampant printing of money and the growing Occupy movement, we will enter our own Weimar Republic phase, followed by the totalitarian collectivist and imperialist government.

Just study how the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany got their start.

quizikle said...

Ya know, SiG...I do a pretty good job of making myself nervous. You do an excellent job of providing a confirming second opinion.

Is it paranoia if they really are out to get you?
Q

Graybeard said...

Q - thanks for the chuckle.