The State of the National Debt

Dept of Justice photo

The amount of America’s current national debt is unknown! That should frighten you enough to write your senators and representative. Most individuals have a fairly good sense of how much debt they have, as do most businesses. The fact that the government cannot tell “we the people” exactly how much it owes, is very concerning.

In 2016, the United States of America owed roughly $19 trillion of borrowed money to a variety of lenders. We owed 1.9 trillion to Japan and 1.6 trillion to China. The focus on our debt to China is something of a scam on the American people. We owe money all over the planet. In 2016, we owed and still owe, $312 billion to Ireland, $270 billion to Brazil, $254 billion to Switzerland, etc, etc, etc.

$19 trillion is an amount of money so large, the human mind cannot grasp it. We have a hard enough time wrapping around $1.5 trillion, which the Republican party has just authorized the government to borrow, and then gift to the richest one percent, in the form of a tax break. (We are borrowing money, to give a tax break to the wealthiest one percent!)

Since 1960, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 separate times. Rather than tax the rich (they have no problem taxing the poor and middle class) they have developed a philosophy of borrowing money to pay for the portion of debt the rich are not paying. Because the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes, we have a gaping hole in the federal budget, and must borrow money to fill it.

Borrowing from Social Security

Ever wonder about the comments Republicans make about Social Security running out of money. The federal government had borrowed over $2.8 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund, in 2014, but the current amount is unknown. Interestingly, Republicans do not speak of how interest on the borrowed money from this trust fund has made Social Security totally solvent. On a limited scale, borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund is very intelligent, and suggest all monies being borrowed by the federal government should be drawn from American Institutions.

Stealing from Social Security

Describing President George W. Bush’s borrowing habits, Allen W. Smith, an economics professor, wrote,

“Bush spent every dime of Social Security surplus revenue that came in during his presidency. He used it to fund his big tax cuts for the rich, and much of it was spent on wars.”

These monies were never paid back, but were simply added to the national debt, with payments on the interest. This is how the United States deals with its borrowed money. There are no plans for reducing or eliminating the national debt. Apparently, borrowing money so the rich don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes has become “The American Way!”


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Keith D. Foote

Keith is also a freelance writer. He has written an alternative physics book titled the Ultra-Space Field Theory, and 2 sci-fi novels. Keith has been following politics, and political promises, for the last forty years. He gave up his car, preferring to bicycle and use public transport. Keith enjoys yoga, mini adventures, spirituality, and chocolate ice cream.