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Our National Debt is 14.2 Trillion Dollars

April 14th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

It is impossible to fathom such a number but it is in fact the real number – our deficit is 14.2 trillion dollars. I have been reading in the papers about a possible shutdown of the Federal government if republicans and democrats do not agree on this 38 billion dollar budget, which in reality for this year should be 3.5 trillion. We are fighting and clawing away about a budget that does not even come close to what we ought to cut. Are we in serious trouble? Can we go on and on being a debtor nation?

Well for one thing, most individuals are in debt – 80% of us in fact. We are talking about mortgages, car loans, student loans, new business startups , credit card debt everything. We are a nation not of individuals working hard and pursuing the American dream but rather a country of individuals who are seriously in debt because we feel entitled to everything NOW without, I would not say not working for it but rather people unwilling to wait and work for it over many years. Moreover, credit card debt is not very far from borrowing from a lending institution whose employees have last names ending in a vowel. ( every other loan or debt is understandable) I am part of this debtor nation and I am no angel; I want that flat screen TV and I want it now. My personal reason is that I could be dead tomorrow so live for today – memento mori! If I had a crystal ball and knew I would live another decade or two for sure, I would handle my finances differently.

I know what happens to us individuals if we continually go into debt and end up losing what used to be a more stable thing called our job and cannot find another real soon. We end up on skid row – if you are lucky perhaps you can move in with a friend or loved one until you land on your feet or you end up homeless. However, what happens to our country?

Cicero 106-43 B.C. said “The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.” You do not need a degree in finance to know that the country is spending more than it has and just like individuals we are working just to pay off the interest on debt and so is the country. The national debt is increasing at an alarmingly fast rate of 75 million dollars an hour – wow!

But before you move to another country, bear in mind, the United States has had debt since its inception – of course, we needed funding for the Revolutionary war and the last time the national debt was at zero was when Andrew Jackson was president. We subsequently had several surpluses and deficits (during war for obvious reason deficit increases) then came the Great Depression of 1929. World War II and F.D.R.’s New Deal caused a sixteen-fold increase in debt but we survived, won the war, and enjoyed great economic prosperity afterwards. F.D.R.‘s legacy stands as one of the greatest presidents ever for democrats and the absolute worst president for republicans. (The GOP thinks the Federal government is inept, inefficient, prone to fraud, wasteful and a whole bunch of other derogatory invective.)The biggest jump in terms of dollars came from the Republican George W. Bush who increased the gap by 6 Trillion dollars. With the two wars still going on and the Middle East fiasco and again all that interest, Obama, unless we seriously try to cut spending, will be neck and neck with Bush.

I’ve spilled enough ink and now it’s your turn. I was going to have a part 2 and talk about the repercussions of such a prodigious deficit but I think I will open this up now. All of you economic and financial wizards please contribute and let us know what is going to happen to our nation if we don’t stop spending and cutting programs ? Our economy is worse than I have ever seen it, do you think the deficit problem is one of the multitude of reasons we are in this bind ? WHADAWETHINK ?

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2 Responses to “Our National Debt is 14.2 Trillion Dollars”

  1. Lin Duhl Says:

    I just added your blog site to my blogroll, I pray you would give some thought to doing the same.

  2. slacker Says:

    Great read , I am going to spend more time learning about this subject

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