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US Debt at $8 trillion
October 24, 2005 11:00 AM   Subscribe

America is now $8 trillion dollars in debt. That's nearly $27,000 per citizen, or almost $61,000 per taxpayer. A little over three years ago the total stood at $6 trillion.
posted by justkevin (86 comments total)

 
First thing that comes to mind: ouch.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:02 AM on October 24, 2005


Anyways, how much is that per Bush vote?
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:02 AM on October 24, 2005


Yuck, but in all fairness we cant make any assumptions without looking at the other side of the balance sheet. The country, and its citizens by proxy, have a considerable amount of assets to offset these liabilities.

How bout this one: the stock market is giving a value of over $20million for each employee of Google! My point is, single numbers in isolation are meaningless.
posted by H. Roark at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2005


It's cool. We just got an offer in the mail for a new VISA Titanium™ Card. All balance transfers up to $10 trill are at a fabulous, new low rate.
posted by Rawhide at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2005


I'm willing to pay my share. Will you take a two-party out-of-state check signed in crayon?
posted by Sharktattoo at 11:09 AM on October 24, 2005


That's almost a brazilian. But it's only pretend debt, because it's only pretend money:

Today, like the currency of most nations, the dollar is fiat money without intrinsic value, which means that it has no backing and would be entirely worthless but for the fact that people have been persuaded to use and accept it as if it had worth.">Today, like the currency of most nations, the dollar is fiat money without intrinsic value, which means that it has no backing and would be entirely worthless but for the fact that people have been persuaded to use and accept it as if it had worth.

In 1963 the words "WILL PAY TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND" were removed from all newly issued Federal Reserve notes. Then, in 1968, redemption of pre-1963 Federal Reserve notes for gold or silver officially ended.


Isn't this how religion works?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:12 AM on October 24, 2005


The country, and its citizens by proxy, have a considerable amount of assets to offset these liabilities.

Yeah right, you're talking maybe about the oil in Alaska ? Mhhhh okay gimme Alaska.
posted by elpapacito at 11:12 AM on October 24, 2005


Corrected Wiki link.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


it's approximately 129,095 dollars per bush vote. Now pay up, idiots.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


China's going to be pissed when we file for chapter 7. Really pissed.
posted by Mr T at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


it's all done with mirrors
posted by pyramid termite at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


and pulleys.
posted by NationalKato at 11:19 AM on October 24, 2005


and bullies.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2005


What's the magical number it has to reach before the USA becomes the United Territories of China? Or New Saudi Arabia?

This deficit shouldn't be a problem, can't we just send the bill to Halliburton and have them right a check out of petty cash?
posted by fenriq at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2005


I hope this means I get more spam telling me to buy gold and junk stocks. Gold and Junk Stock people, the answer to all of our problems.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:24 AM on October 24, 2005


China can't do anything. It's like when you borrow $2,000 from the bank; the bank owns you. Borrow $2,000,000 from the bank; you own the bank. Replace "bank" with "China" and add a mess of zeroes to the end of that number and you've got the current situation. Flicker's rock.
posted by The White Hat at 11:24 AM on October 24, 2005


This number must go down. U.S. citizens must do their patriotic duty and begin making babies immediately!
posted by spock at 11:26 AM on October 24, 2005


The US gov't is just going to do what US Corporations are doing, declare bankruptcy and screw workers / citizens out of their pensions / social security first.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:32 AM on October 24, 2005


Yeah right, you're talking maybe about the oil in Alaska ? Mhhhh okay gimme Alaska.

Not necessarily physical resources. I would view becoming a resource-exporting economy as tantamount to a manufacturing company selling its factory to meet debt obligations. Maybe it comes to that, but not yet. The US has lots of intangible assets - a workforce brimming with creativity and individual motivation. A corporate and legal systems that works hard to protect IP, a strong military, etc.

However, the trump card and the key distinction between our situation and other (say Argentina) is that our debt is all denominated in dollars, a currency we control. We could always inflate our way out of virtually any debt problem, leaving whoever holds the debt holding the bag (and our "credit rating" would be crap). This is different from say an Argentina, whose debt was also denominated in dollars and when their own currency imploded against the dollar their high debt burden became impossible.

It is this idea that we can inflate our way out of debt problems that is the primary driver for the current gold bull market. When the world loses its 'reserve currency' its is not clear what will take its place, but gold (or gold-backed currencies) would almost certainly be in the final running.
posted by H. Roark at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2005


The US is just like that guy you know that gets a raise and buys new a dirt bike on credit, but then he breaks an arm and all of a sudden he can't afford the payments on the dirt bike so he has to give it back. Except the US doesn't have to give back the dirt bike, it just prints more money.
posted by mullacc at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2005


Nearly a 2.5 trillion (40%) increase during GW's tenure.

Not to point fingers but I really think his goal is to bankrupt the government. How else does that make sense? Run up 40% more debt during an economic downturn and a war?
posted by aaronscool at 11:46 AM on October 24, 2005


That's almost a brazilian.

What does personal grooming have to do with this?

try the veal
posted by davejay at 11:46 AM on October 24, 2005


Except that if the US ever declared bankrupcy, the entire world's economic system would collapse, causing a global recession that makes the Great Depression feel like a blip. The further we progress in our current form of globalization, the more the entire world has at stake when discussing the US economy.

I agree that SS will be cut (or age will be increased) and agree that nationalized healthcare will never happen unless we get our finances in order, but our propensity to consume (that includes both Democrats and Republicans) will be our ultimate demise. And we're ALL guilty of over-consumption (not just the fat people).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 11:48 AM on October 24, 2005


Some level of debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. The problem is our debt is running out of control at a time when our future ability to pay it down is questionable: increases in energy prices and a reduction in our work force as baby boomers retire could spell trouble.
posted by justkevin at 11:48 AM on October 24, 2005


Not to point fingers but I really think his goal is to bankrupt the government. How else does that make sense? Run up 40% more debt during an economic downturn and a war?

It makes sense if his strategy is "starving the beast".
posted by bobo123 at 12:17 PM on October 24, 2005


The real question will be, whose face will be on the billion dollar bills we print when we inflate our way out of this mess? I vote for Reagan, with the Alzheimer's-addled crazy eyes.

Also, I'd like to add, to hell with gold. I'm bullish on canned food and shotguns.
posted by mullingitover at 12:33 PM on October 24, 2005


fenriq writes "What's the magical number it has to reach before the USA becomes the United Territories of China?"

It won't happen. What will happen when China stops lending you guys money and your forced to inflate your way out is the average guy won't be able to buy anything that isn't made in the USA.
posted by Mitheral at 12:38 PM on October 24, 2005


This brings up a good question - what will it take for libertarian-minded Republicans to desert the party? I mean, sure, they know which side their bread is buttered on, but at some point, doesn't it just become unbearable?
posted by afroblanca at 12:38 PM on October 24, 2005


Nice catch on the fpp, I've been watching the debt-to-the-penny number for a while, seeing how close it was to $8T.

The number that gets my goat isn't the debt so much but the interest on the debt. Clinton got excellent rates for his debt -- 2-3%, so the average rate we're paying now is 4% IIRC.

But the important thing to know is that we revolve this debt burden when it comes due, so when this 2% debt comes due we may have to start ponying up some real interest like 8-9%. Since Bush is going to leave us with a $10T debt (thanks Ralph!), that ~could~ be $500B to $800B **per year** eventually. Right now we're paying ~$200B/yr.

Note that a lot of this $8T is monies owed to the SSTF. The real plan is/was to break the 1984 Greenspan deal (that raised SSI and lowered other rates) and just toss out these intra-governmental notes. Should the general fund not be able to pay up its multi-trillion dollar obligation to SS, it will be the biggest scam in history. Well done Republicans! I'm so proud of your acumen of national stewardship.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:38 PM on October 24, 2005


what will it take for libertarian-minded Republicans to desert the party?

raising taxes. We saw that in the 1992 Republican revolt. Cost Poppy his 2nd term.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2005


After the avian flu decimates the population, what will be the effect on the part capita debt level? Will the debt level increase by 10% per taxpayer, or will there be secondary and even tertiary effects that might actually reduce it?

I like to have all my apocalypse in one thread, thank you very much.
posted by psmealey at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2005


Yuck, but in all fairness we cant make any assumptions without looking at the other side of the balance sheet. The country, and its citizens by proxy, have a considerable amount of assets to offset these liabilities.

Um, are you sure we're all working on the same definition of "debt" here?

If I borrow $10 from you, even if I have a sack of gold coins under my bed, I'm still in debt to you.

So, I guess I understand what your sentence seems to mean, but what is the point in saying it? That there might be silver and gold buried on american soil that we can mine and mint into new money, so we really aren't "in debt" ? Come on...
posted by odinsdream at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2005


Eek.
posted by bz at 1:03 PM on October 24, 2005


I just thank God every day that our country is run by conservatives.
posted by callmejay at 1:08 PM on October 24, 2005


Yuck, but in all fairness we cant make any assumptions without looking at the other side of the balance sheet

The Financial Management Service of the Dept. of the Treasury publishes a balance sheet every year (Financial Report of the United States government). From last year's report, government assets include $359 billion in inventory/cash; $653 billion in property, plant, and equipment; $221 billion in loans receivable; and $165 "other", with total assets equalling $1.397 trillion. Major liabilities include $4.329 for debt held by the public, $4.062 billion for federal employee and veteran pensions, $24.615 billion for Medicare, $12.552 billion for Social Security. All in all, the government is $45.892 billion in the red.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:16 PM on October 24, 2005


Yeah good thing we're spending all this money on things that will make the US stronger, like the war in Iraq (or wait, is that not counted in this deficit spending?) and Pork Projects:

Number of Pork Projects in Federal Spending Bills

2005 - 13,997
2004 - 10,656
2003 - 9,362
2002 - 8,341
2001 - 6,333
2000 - 4,326
1999 - 2,838
1998 - 2100
1997 - 1,596
1996 - 958
1995 - 1439

Good ol' conservatives!
posted by gus at 1:17 PM on October 24, 2005


All in all, the government is $45.892 billion in the red.

you're missing the annual tax base, ~$12T in national income. The government can tap that, subject to democratic and constitutional limitations.

The goverment also owns lots of property rights with minimal valuations on its books, eg. EM spectrum, national parks, etc. How much is Yosemite worth? I've got the sickening feeling we're going to find out some day.

I remember reading a SF short story on this in 80s, something about the Japanese baron eventually buying the Brooklyn Bridge. The twist was he placed it in his garden, and the protagonist had to admit it was a quite striking addition.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:27 PM on October 24, 2005


$45.892 trillion, I meant.

you're missing the annual tax base, ~$12T in national income.

You are referring to the GDP?
posted by eddydamascene at 1:51 PM on October 24, 2005


Freedom isn't free.

There's a hefty fuckin' fee.
posted by fire&wings at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2005


US income/expenses for 2004 were $1.880 trillion in tax revenue (16.3% of GDP), and $2.292 trillion in expenses (19.8% of GDP). From the summary tables of the Budget of the United States Government.

Ok, so all the government has to do is balance the budget and raise tax income by 60%, and in 60 years we'll be back in the black. No need for alarm.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:12 PM on October 24, 2005


Major liabilities include $4.329 for debt held by the public, $4.062 billion for federal employee and veteran pensions, $24.615 billion for Medicare, $12.552 billion for Social Security

trillions, all of them. Sorry.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:28 PM on October 24, 2005


I've been tempted, tempted, tempted to post something on AskMeta or MoFi:Curious George about this, but are there any understandable resources that explains how the public debt, banking, and the economy are related? Maybe through analogy ("lemonade stand" relations, etc).

Most of the resources I've seen wander off into hyperbolic Keynesian quantum mechanics. I did break down and buy a copy of Mishkin's Economics of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets; it should get here this week and I hope it helps unravel this some.
posted by rolypolyman at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2005


Well I will just move to a different country then.
posted by j-urb at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2005


I understand Emperor Norton's currency is out of circulation (but rare enough to be worth something).


Therefore I'm introducing my own currency.

'Smedleybucks' are trading at 1:5 for American dollars and based on negative value (it's worth something or we kick your ass, see?)


It's available at my website at: www.sme...
*carted off by the Secret Service*

----

I do think that's what American dollars seem to be based on. Threat.
That or perhaps corn.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:01 PM on October 24, 2005


From time to time we have been hit with 19.5% interest on the national debt(when Regan handed it over to G.H.Bush)
the cost of military buildup I suppose.
posted by hortense at 3:01 PM on October 24, 2005


Already looking forward to what Max Keiser has to say about this on tomorrow's KarmaBanque Radio show.
posted by tapeguy at 3:06 PM on October 24, 2005


and in 60 years we'll be back in the black. No need for alarm.

having debt on the books isn't that serious a deal. What's more important is stemming the deficit red ink; not funding consumption with governmental borrowing. This is not sustainable. $8T in debt, at 5-6% interest rates, is. Taxpayer bill for that is $300/mo per-capita.

how the public debt, banking, and the economy are related?

The only thing I know is that the "public", ie private US taxpayers, don't buy much of the public debt (and the people who do ... what a steal, instead of writing a check to the IRS, they get to buy actual debt instruments that earn interest returns). Japan, Inc owns a trillion, China, Inc. a hundred billion or so.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:14 PM on October 24, 2005


OK, am I the only one finding it odd that a person with the handle "H. Roark" is tactitly defending government spending on this level, and (it seems) advocating using monetary policy to weasel out of debts?

Aren't you supposed to be turning your back on the government for playing exactly those kinds of games? You know, go live in a canyon and trade everything in gold? (yeah, I know... that's the other guy)

I mean, if you feel that way, that's cool. But odd choice of name if that's the stance you're going to take.
posted by InnocentBystander at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2005


I always enjoy the fiscal conservatism Republican administrations.

Borrow and Spend or Tax and Spend. What a horny dilemma.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:53 PM on October 24, 2005


You guys don't get it, do you, WRT Bush? The Republicans will lose in 2008, and a slightly saner and mroe responsible Democrat will be forced to massively cut spending (including the precious military) and raise taxes, and they will be damned to eternity and Democrats will be unelectable until at least 2030, based on the 'horror run' of 2009- 2012.

Sucker punched.
posted by wilful at 4:25 PM on October 24, 2005


The bad or good of debt depends on what the money is being used for. Certainly the share being used on the military is a positive, since surely, if slowly, it is beating back wacko Islamic fascists bent on destroying our economy (and that of the West in general).

A few months ago, I read an article on the Op-Ed page of the WSJ that persuasively argued that while the common wisdom is that Americans save very little of their money, by other measures, they save, in aggregate, more than citizens of the supposed "big saver" nations.

in any case, for all those waiting anxiously for the US economy to collapse due to a few trillion dollars in debt, don't hold your breath: that "hope" has gone nowhere for the last forty years, in one form or another. In other words: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by ParisParamus at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2005


Has the US' debt ever been at this proportion of the GDP? And with a mild demographic slide due to the stabilising population and a significant demand crunch on your main fuel source, I don't think this is something to dismiss so lightly.

As for beating back the "islamic fascists", oh you jest.
posted by wilful at 5:08 PM on October 24, 2005


Certainly the share being used on the military is a positive

This assume 100% of the money spent is actually a) targeting terrorism, and b) effectively reducing it.

Reality sez... no on both counts.

I read an article on the Op-Ed page of the WSJ

that explains a lot.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:09 PM on October 24, 2005


Has the US' debt ever been at this proportion of the GDP?

Dunno, but that's the danger with dismissing the deficit and debt as just a percentage of GDP. The Japanese hit a rough patch of falling GDP, and now their deficit/GDP ratio looks like Argentina's.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:10 PM on October 24, 2005


'zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.'

sleep tight oh smug one
posted by rodney stewart at 5:12 PM on October 24, 2005


On a side note, Sen. John Edwards' Opportunity Rocks campaing rolled through campus today. He said that if he is elected President, among other things, he will: He did not say how any of this would be paid for, but of course it sounded nice.
posted by fourstar at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2005


Wage the minimum wage, and reform labor laws altogether

how do you do that?
posted by j-urb at 5:21 PM on October 24, 2005


Go back to sleep, America ParisParamus. Your government is in control!
posted by InnocentBystander at 5:27 PM on October 24, 2005


Has the US' debt ever been at this proportion of the GDP?

Yes, it's been higher as a percentage of GDP before. It was substantially higher during WWII. But it's a mistake to assume that GDP just because GDP is high, we don't have to worry. The US government doesn't raise revenue by taxing the GDP, it raises revenue by taxing individuals and to a lesser extent corporations.

Our creditors are willing to lend us money because we have pledged to pay them back with future tax revenue, not because we're selling shares of the GDP.
posted by justkevin at 5:42 PM on October 24, 2005


So this means we owe $8 trillion to ourselves, right?

I say we collect and party down.
posted by jonmc at 5:50 PM on October 24, 2005


"I read an article on the Op-Ed page of the WSJ

that explains a lot."

It explains you are an ignoramus.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:08 PM on October 24, 2005


ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:47 PM on October 24, 2005


Issue housing vouchers so the country stops "clustering poor people together"
Wait -- isn't that what the folks in suburbia want?
posted by rolypolyman at 6:58 PM on October 24, 2005


It explains you are an ignoramus.

You're actually a lawyer? For serious? Does the "Oh yeah? Well you're smelly!" argument you just put forth stand up in court much?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:02 PM on October 24, 2005


Ignorance is ignorance. Shall I avoid latin on Metafilter? How else to explain someone who would not respect the country's preeminent economic daily? Sorry, Mother Jones and the union/leftist rag you likely esteem won't cut it.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:08 PM on October 24, 2005


The WSJ editorial page never gets much respect compared to the rest of that fine publication. The article M. Paramus cites sounds like a classic example of the reason for that.
posted by sfenders at 7:25 PM on October 24, 2005


The bad or good of debt depends on what the money is being used for.

Do you mean things like roads, education, telecommunication infrastructure and power infrastructure?

Certainly the share being used on the military is a positive, since surely, if slowly, it is beating back wacko Islamic fascists bent on destroying our economy (and that of the West in general).

What a nice handwaving argument.

Now, please explain the following 2 bits of military spending and how the 'wacko Islamics' are stopped by it. Extra points to show how the US Taxpayer is well served.

1) 27.5 million spent to ship $88,120 worth of LPG.
2) 2.3 Trillion in unaccounted spending in the Pentagon
posted by rough ashlar at 7:33 PM on October 24, 2005


The first budget cuts were at the GAO?
posted by hortense at 7:45 PM on October 24, 2005


Because the wacko Muslims (ok Islamo-fascists, whatever...) aren't here; haven't bombed the US in five years. Iraq is their roach motel, and they are too busy elsewhere to make it here. And day by day, their credibility dwindles. And with the coming coup or invasion in/of Syria, we'll be able to kill even more of these devils in Iraq.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:57 PM on October 24, 2005


Because the wacko Muslims (ok Islamo-fascists, whatever...) aren't here; haven't bombed the US in five years. Iraq is their roach motel, and they are too busy elsewhere to make it here. And day by day, their credibility dwindles. And with the coming coup or invasion in/of Syria, we'll be able to kill even more of these devils in Iraq.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:57 PM PST on October 24 [!]


So then you can't justify 27.5 million to ship $88,120 worth of LPG.

So you can't explain how the Pentagon can't account for 2.3 trillion.

So much for the courage of your convictions. BTW, you said you'd be leading the charge to impeach Bush if not WMD were found in Iraq. How's THAT charge working out?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:01 PM on October 24, 2005


PP's rhetoric grows a bit rough.

"Iraq is their roach motel ?"

Get a grip.

Really.
posted by troutfishing at 8:42 PM on October 24, 2005


Since WMDs were found in Iraq, albeit in small quantity, I feel exonerated. Moreover, I have the derogative to change my mind.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:52 PM on October 24, 2005


ParisParamus has a credibility deficit. But it doesn't look that bad when compared to the GDP.

Also, the number of stars in the sky don't seem that much when compared to the GDP.
posted by Balisong at 8:53 PM on October 24, 2005


Say, did you hear that that fink a-hole Galloway lied before Congress?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:54 PM on October 24, 2005


Troutfishing, the truth is that some people need time-lapse photography to figure out what's going on. Lots of people need it for Iraq: Afghanstan > Iraq > Libya > [Gaza]Egypt> Lebanon > Syria.

Stay tuned.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:10 PM on October 24, 2005


You forgot Poland.
posted by Balisong at 9:23 PM on October 24, 2005


in any case, for all those waiting anxiously for the US economy to collapse due to a few trillion dollars in debt, don't hold your breath: that "hope" has gone nowhere for the last forty years, in one form or another. In other words: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

not only that, PP, but "financial world" says -

"It may be well again to stress the all-important point that the Federal Reserve has it in its power to change interest rates downward any time it sees fit to do so and thus to stimulate business."

found here
posted by pyramid termite at 10:21 PM on October 24, 2005


Since WMDs were found in Iraq, albeit in small quantity

"ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Husayn possessed WMD stocks in 2003, but the available evidence from its investigation—including detainee interviews and document exploitation—leaves open the possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq although not of a militarily significant capability."

I feel exonerated.

"If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted."

Moreover, I have the derogative to change my mind.

that requires ... ah, never mind. You're the joke that doesn't need a punchline.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:05 AM on October 25, 2005


Since WMDs were found in Iraq,

In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

albeit in small quantity,

Not a true statement. But, tell ya what.

The Iraq war is running over $200,000,000,000 dollar tab so far. Why don't you justify $200 billion to have found "small quantity" WMD's.

I feel exonerated.

Feeling isn't fact.

Moreover, I have the derogative to change my mind.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:52 PM PST on October 24 [!]


Moreover, I have the {to act beneath one's position or character/to cause to seem inferior/to take away a part so as to impair} to change my mind.

Yes, yes you do.

And it does make you lesser. Like your statement "
The bad or good of debt depends on what the money is being used for. Certainly the share being used on the military is a positive," and your lack of response to questions of spending on 27.5 million or 2.3 trillion reinforces your appearance as a 'derogative mind'.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:14 AM on October 25, 2005


Is it just me, or do some people seem to be acting a bit cranky?
posted by moonbiter at 6:13 AM on October 25, 2005


Is it just me, or do some people seem to be acting a bit cranky?
posted by moonbiter at 6:13 AM PST on October 25 [!]


Ever owed $8 trillion?

Or, worse yet, been owed $8 trillion?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:31 AM on October 25, 2005


Don't feed the troll.
posted by you just lost the game at 6:51 AM on October 25, 2005


do republicons care about the country/legacy/world they are leaving their kids AT ALL? WTF?
posted by specialk420 at 7:02 AM on October 25, 2005


ParisParamus: Metafilter's favorite fake lawyer.
posted by odinsdream at 7:18 AM on October 25, 2005


ParisParamus writes ". Moreover, I have the derogative to change my mind."

You seem to exercise that derogative [sic] quite regularly...
posted by benzo8 at 9:10 AM on October 25, 2005


having debt on the books isn't that serious a deal. What's more important is stemming the deficit red ink; not funding consumption with governmental borrowing. This is not sustainable. $8T in debt, at 5-6% interest rates, is.

Isn't it a serious deal precisely because the government cannot balance the budget? I count only 12 surplus years since 1947, and four of those years (98-01) had a lot to do with real taxes on imaginary money. In my lifetime we've overspent more than 80% of a year's GDP. Maybe I'm lacking in perspective, but I'm having trouble imagining a future where the US is not digging itself into a bigger hole.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:15 AM on October 25, 2005


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