June 3, 2010
As of Tuesday, according to the Treasury Department, the federal government is now $13,050,826,460,886.97 in debt. That is the highest total ever, and the debt grows by about $5 billion a day, That's roughly three times the rate that the deficit grew under Bush, though one could certainly blame his administration for leading us into a lot of this mess. It took only 197 days to grow from $12 trillion to $13 trillion, and just 500 days to grow by $2.4 trillion. The scary part is there is no end in sight, no consensus on how to turn it around, and no universal agreement that it even needs to be done, though the president has charged a bipartisan commission with the task of figuring out how to keep the figure below 75% of GDP. Good luck on that, given recent trends. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the question is how to get runaway spending back in control. Somehow, the old saying, "When you owe the bank a thousand dollars, the bank owns you. When you owe the bank a million dollars, you own the bank," just doesn't instill a lot of confidence. Collectively, we owe the Japanese and Chinese (and others) banks about $42,000 for every American, and growing. Knowing that figure just gnaws at my confidence in the future for my children. Anyone paying attention to what's happening in Europe these days should be concerned.