Are you freaking out yet? (the national debt)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    If you're not, maybe you should be... Here are a few economic stats which I find particularly disturbing. Do you find any of them particularly concerning?

    • On the last day of 2010, our national debt was $13,871,130,353,817.40. If we paid off this debt at one dollar per second it would take around 450,000 years to pay off.
    • As of the 3rd of January, 2011, our national unfunded liabilities (debt for Social Security, Medicare, etc.) is over $111,900,000,000,000.00.
    • We're not slowing down... today, the U.S. government is taking out more loans at a rate of around $2,630,000 per minute.
    • In 1980 the U.S. national debt was 907 billion dollars. Today, it's 1400% higher!
    • According to the U.S. Treasury our national debt is expected to reach 19.6 trillion dollars by 2015.
    • The INTEREST payments alone on our debt are expected to be over $900,000,000 per year by the year 2019.
    • The 111th Congress added more to the U.S. National Debt than the first one hundred congresses COMBINED. The debt they added works out to around $10,429.64 for each of the 308,745,538 people counted by the 2010 U.S. census.
    • Our government is already borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends.

    [​IMG]

    Which government programs/expenditures would you be willing to give up in order to turn this ship around? Clearly we're on an unsustainable course so 'none of them' or just a few small changes won't cut it.

    What would I do?

     
  2. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #2
    BTW, for those of you who can't fully appreciate those big numbers for what they are (I'm not sure anyone can), it may be useful to consider these numbers as they pertain to individual taxpayers.

    Our current National Debt is 13.9 Trillion or $126,000 per taxpayer!
    Our current National Unfunded Liabilities is 112 Trillion or $1,000,000 per taxpayer!

    So... um, yeah... as soon as you can get that money to the government, that'd be great!
     
  3. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #3
    What really scares me is that all this debt is nothing more than 1's and 0's in a computer. It's not real.
     
  4. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Typical conservative fear mongering. We're all doomed.
     
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #5
    I think "fear mongering" is typically associated with things that are intangible like terrorism and the notion that gay marriage hurts straight marriage, crap like that. These are real numbers AFAIK and they're very tangible.
     
  6. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #6
    The Republicans love to say they are representing the will of the majority of Americans.

    I wonder what they will do with this:

    Link
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Yup. Raise taxes.

    Massively cut the military.

    It's time we stopped playing Roman Empire.

    That's a good place to start.
     
  8. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #8
    Yeah pretty ironic huh? They also tried to use that one to stop the repeal of DADT. They say that most americans agree with them, even if they clearly know that its not true. And its also funny how they whine about the debt, and then oppose raising taxes on the wealthy, even though mostly everyone supports it.
     
  9. Moyank24 macrumors 601

    Moyank24

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    #9
    My personal debt is 1400% higher than it was in 1980 and I'm not even freaking out about that.
     
  10. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #10
    Most Americans aren't "the rich". Apparently this poll seems to indicate that most Americans think that to balance the budget, someone else should pay for it.
     
  11. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #11
    The people who benefit the most from our society are the ones who ought to pay the most to support it.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #12
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #13
    I agree, the national debt is a significant problem because of latent and secondary affects. However, I wonder if fivepoint would be so kind as to provide a chart that reflects the national debt with GDP percentage, which might provide more context for these numbers.

    Someone else noted that their debt percentage had also increased and speaking to personal finances I can say the same thing because I bought a house. Five years ago, my debt-to-wage ratio was vastly different. Again, context is important.
     
  14. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #14
    "Freaking out" is not really an appropriate way to deal with anything. Indeed, many terrible political things have happened when people 'freaked out' about something they were afraid of.

    Sure, the debt is very high and needs to be addressed, but it needs to be done rationally before we do more damage than good. Getting scared will only motivate unreasonable behavior.

    As for the dig at the 111th congress—lets not forget that everyone's conservative golden boy Ronald Reagan gave us a 300% increase between 1980 and 1990.
     
  15. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #15
    Quoted from the OP:
    I would ask our illustrious Original Poster if he is kidding us, but I know better than that. A quarter of the states in our Great Nation would advocate teaching creationism as science in grade school, contributing to the ever-increasing dumbing-down of America. Mind you, he rather freak out about the bookkeeping.

    I sure as heck would consider it, as the private sector has utterly failed us. Failed. Failed. And, in case you've been asleep for the last two generations: Failed! How much more evidence of this do you need? How many more horror stories of intractable bureaucracy and people paying extortionate premiums and being denied coverage do you need to hear before you get it?

    So, to answer your original question, no, I'm not freaking out about the deficit. I've got better things to worry about. And so should you.
     
  16. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #16
    I'm more worried about our (the UK's) national debt, at least the USA has a Export & Manufacturing market & a larger population to tax.

    Thanks to the 80's Margaret Thatcher government, we don't have that really anymore.
     
  17. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #17
    This.

    Whether you're in favor of a progressive tax or a "flat" tax, there's no way that debt is going to come down without these two things. And we can't "stick" at taxing the rich, particularly since they're the only ones with any large amounts of disposable income left.

    Job creation is important, too. Big business can't keep shipping our jobs off-shore or asking us to take cuts. Unemployed people and people taking pay cuts don't fill the IRS's coffers.

    This too, particularly where "unreasonable behavior" includes some of the more extreme tea party goals such as abolishing the education department.

    Unfortunately, "freaking out" is what sells on Fox, Limbaugh's show, and tea party literature.
     
  18. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #18
    The national debt should concern every single American, and many people throughout the world as a real possibility exists that America may decrease its global activity, including military action. It concerns me even more that most people shrug this number off; does this indicate average spending habits?

    Republicans and democrats often collide on how to 'fix it'. They both realize a real problem exists, but they have no agreements on the methods of how to start to remedy the situation. IMO, both are very closed minded on the issue and their priority is serving their political party. Concern of how the methods of decreasing national debt will affect the people is minimal, and an understanding of this is even less.

    Oh, and to add, virtually every news/media organization blows certain aspects out of proportion. One has to keep in mind that they are, after all, entertainers, and their funding depends on how many people watch/read/listen. True scholarly articles which examine contemporary issues from the perspectives of both conservative and liberal scholars NEVER sees mainstream publication or presentation.
     
  19. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    Raise taxes and cut military spending. The answer is simple.
     
  20. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #20
    I wouldn't exactly say simple, and surely not say it is practical, but it would work.
     
  21. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #21
    The cut spending part is right.

    Here's an eye-opening website: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
     
  22. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #22
    Wow, I mean... WOW! I just got done telling these guys that every taxpayer in America would need to pay $126,000 (over a million if you include unfunded liabilities... which you have to) and all they can do is say that I'm fear mongering and that apparently there's nothing to be afraid of. How enlightening! Just a recommendation gentlemen, do a bit of reading on the weimar republic to understand the result of printing too much money, and a bit of reading on every major empire collapse in the past several thousand years to understand the result of spending too much and attempting to police/control the world. These problems are real, and frankly the fact that you can't even come to that realization and understand that sacrifice needs to be made - makes the rest of us very skeptical that these problems will ever be resolved.



    Is it your position that nothing substantial besides our military budget needs to be cut? Not SS, not medicare, not Obamacare, not welfare, not federal employee salaries? Do you have any concern that your raised taxes will actually result in less government revenues in the long run due to the anti-business climate you've created?




    Can anyone say debt bubble? FYI - It's not just national debt you need to worry about, but also household debt, private sector debt, etc. as a percentage of GDP. The numbers are quite frightening.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    I'd say 'freaking out' is a great first step. Most Americans aren't even remotely aware of the problem, so if we could get a few of them to just 'freak out' and come to grips with reality... we'd have a much better chance to solve the problem. I completely understand your point about acting 'reasonably' but my point is that the only reasonable thing to do is to make large fundamental changes in our view of what government's role ought to be. The system as it stands has proven to be unsustainable, we can't keep on this path without going bankrupt and/or damaging our country's credit for life.



    I'd like to see your list of 'better things to worry about' than the deficit and economy. This isn't the land of make-believe. If these problems aren't corrected, none of the other problems will even matter, our entire society will be suffering.



    Good post. +1
    However, I would also suggest that there are MANY in both parties (more on the left frankly) who really DON'T care about the debt/deficit. They only care that their constituents are getting other people's money. They only care about their own pet projects. This mentality has gotten us where we are today.



    The most frightening website EVER. I wish every American sat in front of that site for 5 minutes a day and just absorbed its content... sat back and really appreciated the scope of those numbers and how it might affect their lives later on or more importantly their children's lives.
     
  23. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #23
    Thank you. I would agree that as a general trend, people who are on the more liberal side of the political spectrum scale are less concerned with debt. My state, Maryland, went from a near 2 billion dollar surplus, to a 2 billion dollar deficit in a year and a half; the only change was a more liberal Governor.

    I think the lack of care of the financial standing of the US is really hurting us as well. The highest rated political concerns (in numerous surveys) include: homeland security, the job market, health care, retirement, religion, the environment, and moral preservation of society. The concern of the growing national deficit is rarely seen. Also, mainstream American society spends trillions on debt; I, myself, have made my own life difficult by running up a debt on stupid crap I didn't need.

    I would argue the general disinterest with the deficit is because people do not see it as being harmful to American culture. Furthermore, debt in general is not seen as harmful. It is a figure on a computer; the overwhelming majority of people, myself included, cannot even begin to conceptualize how much a trillion dollars is. Even harder to imagine is the sum of interest we pay to the people we owe money to. In 2008, debt paid was over 250 BILLION dollars, enough to fund numerous critical government sectors, or give each state 5 billion dollars to spend on their own discretion.

    I see this continuing debt as the easiest way for the US to lose the 'superpower' title. Most likely, China will become the most powerful nation in the next decade.
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Taxes will have to be raised as well. There's no getting around that.
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    Who created? Liberals? Last time I checked, every economic indicator over the last 30+ years shows that when you cut taxes and don't change spending, you end up in a recession. Guess which party has the history of doing that? Which party has destroyed the business climate in the US? Which party has done everything it can to maximize corporate profits by screwing over the people they supposedly represent?

    Clearly, they keep voting for Republicans in Tea Party clothing.

    Really? I thought we got into this recession because of the Bush tax cuts, massive military spending, and massive growth of medical costs. All things that those on the right are more responsible for. And frankly, can you point to the last time a Republican president reduced the deficit/debt? Speaking of which...

    Actually, the MOST frightening website ever that I wish every American reviewed (along with yours) is: LINK

    Really? That's the only change? It had nothing to do with the MASSIVE recession the Bush administration's policies put us into? (edit) I forgot about all the jobs that got outsourced because of all those great conservative pro-business policies!
     

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