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Posted: 1/6/2012 9:46:36 AM EDT
Saw this on Business Insider and, even though I already knew how bad the debt is, this puts it into a new perspective.

Oh, and there's an extremely funny 3-minute video in this link too, demostrating the absurity of recent "cuts" to the budget.

Read it and try not to weep too much...

34 Facts About The National Debt That Should Outrage Americans
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 9:50:54 AM EDT
Pitch Forks, Get Your Pitchforks Here.



Welcome To Mr Harry's Pitchfork House,

Why Yes we are expecting to expand to
include Tar and Feathers any day now

Oh Yes, and torches as well
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:06:52 AM EDT
Thought provoking.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:20:36 AM EDT
It's really frustrating. When you see the debt spelled out in those terms, it really hits home that optimism and good intentions aside, we really ARE screwed. It's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" the house of cards collapses.

And I'm not an alarmist or prone to hysteria, either. I'm pretty level-headed. But I'm increasingly convinced that things really are going to be as bad as some people think, because our debt problem is now literally unfixable. I guess the only thing you can do is prepare as best as possible, and then go live your life in the meantime until all hell breaks loose.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:22:03 AM EDT
I never understood why people use "facts" like

"If you spent a dollar a second since Jesus was born..."

and who cares how many times you could circle the earth with $10 bills?

Those are not important facts.

Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:24:49 AM EDT
The hell with it, let the kids worry about it. I want my free stuff now.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:25:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2012 10:27:12 AM EDT by StephenNW]
Originally Posted By Fulminant:
I never understood why people use "facts" like

"If you spent a dollar a second since Jesus was born..."

and who cares how many times you could circle the earth with $10 bills?

Those are not important facts.



Right, the facts themselves are not important. It's the perspective they add that sometimes makes them useful.

Some people don't grasp exactly how much money $15 trillion is. It can put it into perspective when you hear that "If you spent $1 million every day from the time Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spent $1 trillion 2,000 years later."
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:27:15 AM EDT
The fact that National debt surpassed GDP in December is the one that worries me.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:52:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
The fact that National debt surpassed GDP in December is the one that worries me.


Yeah, that, and the fact that that ratio is going to start increasing exponentially just like the debt itself. It just isn't sustainable.

It's sort of depressing when you look at the mathematics of it all. I'm as optimistic as anyone, but at some point you have to acknowledge facts for what they are.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 10:59:47 AM EDT
Only 29 of them outraged me.....
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:39:04 AM EDT
We will see Hyperinflation soon enough. It will be a sad day when all of us consumers are starving because of our government.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:45:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Pitch Forks, Get Your Pitchforks Here.



Welcome To Mr Harry's Pitchfork House,

Why Yes we are expecting to expand to
include Tar and Feathers any day now

Oh Yes, and torches as well

ChainGun's house of Tar and Feathers

Special: Bucket of hot tar and a pillow full of feathers
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:50:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By StephenNW:
It's really frustrating. When you see the debt spelled out in those terms, it really hits home that optimism and good intentions aside, we really ARE screwed. It's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" the house of cards collapses.

And I'm not an alarmist or prone to hysteria, either. I'm pretty level-headed. But I'm increasingly convinced that things really are going to be as bad as some people think, because our debt problem is now literally unfixable. I guess the only thing you can do is prepare as best as possible, and then go live your life in the meantime until all hell breaks loose.

How do we determine "when". Grease is a good example, they've been overspending for years beyond what we could imagine. Where are we with regards to their spending history?
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:57:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chaingun:

Originally Posted By StephenNW:
It's really frustrating. When you see the debt spelled out in those terms, it really hits home that optimism and good intentions aside, we really ARE screwed. It's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" the house of cards collapses.

And I'm not an alarmist or prone to hysteria, either. I'm pretty level-headed. But I'm increasingly convinced that things really are going to be as bad as some people think, because our debt problem is now literally unfixable. I guess the only thing you can do is prepare as best as possible, and then go live your life in the meantime until all hell breaks loose.

How do we determine "when". Grease is a good example, they've been overspending for years beyond what we could imagine. Where are we with regards to their spending history?


Greece is sort of an accelerated story, and the dynamics are a little different. Greece, unlike the U.S., didn't have the capacity to just print more money. The only reason we've been able to sustain things so far, is because we have a money printing press and the world is still buying our money. Things will "start" when the dollar gets dumped as the world's reserve currency. I don't know when that will happen (it could be tomorrow, it could be 10 years from now), but when it does it will happen very fast.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 11:58:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2012 12:00:12 PM EDT by C-4]

#9 According to the GAO, the U.S. government is facing 34 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. These are obligations that we have already committed ourselves to but that we do not have any money for.




That statement is FALSE.

There is absolutely no reason why Congress/President can't pass/sign a law reducing the amount paid out in those programs.

As a recent concrete example of this, many states have changed health insurance and other benefit payouts to governmental retirees. Social Security from deceased beneficiaries used to pay for part of their surviving children's college expenses up until some time in the 1980's.

This notion that any of the social insurance payouts is somehow set in stone is naive and false. The gov't can and does do what it wants.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 12:37:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By C-4:

#9 According to the GAO, the U.S. government is facing 34 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. These are obligations that we have already committed ourselves to but that we do not have any money for.




That statement is FALSE.

There is absolutely no reason why Congress/President can't pass/sign a law reducing the amount paid out in those programs.

As a recent concrete example of this, many states have changed health insurance and other benefit payouts to governmental retirees. Social Security from deceased beneficiaries used to pay for part of their surviving children's college expenses up until some time in the 1980's.

This notion that any of the social insurance payouts is somehow set in stone is naive and false. The gov't can and does do what it wants.


In this context, "the gov't" doesn't do anything. Members of Congress would have to act to reduce benefits. The first priority for most of those members is to be re-elected. Take a look at the rate at which older Americans vote in comparision to the rate at which youger Americans vote. You'll see that while reducing benefits is theoretically possible, in practice it will not happen. The less painful (for the members of Congress at least) method is to inflate the money supply and pay the benefits in the dollar amount previuosly promised. 99% of the beneficiaries will never figure out what happened to them. Like most people, they think a constant increase in the general price level is the result of some law of economics or the alignment of the stars or some other unidentified non-human cause.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 12:44:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 12:50:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2012 12:50:29 PM EDT by Redneck_in_Texas]
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 12:56:42 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 2:23:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By StephenNW:
It's really frustrating. When you see the debt spelled out in those terms, it really hits home that optimism and good intentions aside, we really ARE screwed. It's not a matter of "if", but rather "when" the house of cards collapses.

And I'm not an alarmist or prone to hysteria, either. I'm pretty level-headed. But I'm increasingly convinced that things really are going to be as bad as some people think, because our debt problem is now literally unfixable. I guess the only thing you can do is prepare as best as possible, and then go live your life in the meantime until all hell breaks loose.


Amen.

I feel sorry for my daughters.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 2:28:45 PM EDT
Tag for the disappoint.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 2:35:18 PM EDT
I don't give it till election. But if it makes it that far it won't make it much further, I predict the economy will tank by the end of 2013 at the very latest. I mean noticeably, where you can't manufacture fake unemployment rates anymore.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 1:49:52 AM EDT
Tag.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 2:39:45 AM EDT

This really should be on every news channel. It should be a fucking PSA that replays on every channel at least once every commercial break.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 2:50:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:26:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By POLYTHENEPAM:
Originally Posted By C-4:

#9 According to the GAO, the U.S. government is facing 34 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. These are obligations that we have already committed ourselves to but that we do not have any money for.




That statement is FALSE.

There is absolutely no reason why Congress/President can't pass/sign a law reducing the amount paid out in those programs.

As a recent concrete example of this, many states have changed health insurance and other benefit payouts to governmental retirees. Social Security from deceased beneficiaries used to pay for part of their surviving children's college expenses up until some time in the 1980's.

This notion that any of the social insurance payouts is somehow set in stone is naive and false. The gov't can and does do what it wants.


In this context, "the gov't" doesn't do anything. Members of Congress would have to act to reduce benefits. The first priority for most of those members is to be re-elected. Take a look at the rate at which older Americans vote in comparision to the rate at which youger Americans vote. You'll see that while reducing benefits is theoretically possible, in practice it will not happen. The less painful (for the members of Congress at least) method is to inflate the money supply and pay the benefits in the dollar amount previuosly promised. 99% of the beneficiaries will never figure out what happened to them. Like most people, they think a constant increase in the general price level is the result of some law of economics or the alignment of the stars or some other unidentified non-human cause.


Good point.

I also think that at the very least Congress will pass some form of 'means testing'. The majority of the voting older population will not be affected by it so it will be popular and the politicians are not taking a big risk regarding re-election.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:30:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2012 5:31:42 AM EDT by Lorax]
Can't we just take the money from the evil 1% that owns eleventy billion percent of all the wealth in this country?
From what I hear, this should fix everything. After all, just "having shit" is a basic right in this country.


Anyone seen my hackey sack ball?
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:44:37 AM EDT
Soboring is the word that comes to mind. Ammo and food this year.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:48:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Lorax:
Can't we just take the money from the evil 1% that owns eleventy billion percent of all the wealth in this country?
From what I hear, this should fix everything. After all, just "having shit" is a basic right in this country.


Anyone seen my hackey sack ball?


Good post!

Link Posted: 1/7/2012 5:52:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 7:35:49 PM EDT
The less painful (for the members of Congress at least) method is to inflate the money supply and pay the benefits in the dollar amount previuosly promised.


2nd order effect: In order to maintain the standard of living, the average worker will sooner or later probably get a pay raise in response to this inflation.

3rd order effect: The average worker is now or will soon be in the next tax bracket.

4th order effect: Remember when Obama said he only wanted to tax the rich, and defined them as those who make >500k? How much will the average middle class person make in, let's say, 50 years (i.e. what is the number on their paychecks, despite the fact that they're still middle class)? Hint: how much was the cost of living in 1960?
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