A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion

This is the product of a government that has grown beyond its constitutional bounds.  Politicians who have not been held accountable have spent our money frivolously to the point we can NEVER meet the obligations to which they have committed us.  So, where do we go from here?  What do we do now?

First, we educate everyone on the problem and the consequences of not addressing it.  The hardest crowd to reach will be those who have grown dependent on government for their existence.  To convince these people that cutting the government apron strings will be necessary is going to be difficult. The consequences of failure mean the collapse of our economic system and government, and perhaps the rise of a government that will enslave us all to more than just taxes.

Second, while it is still possible to do so, we vote EVERYONE that doesn’t stick to the constitution and cut spending accordingly OUT. OF. OFFICE.  We elect people who will push for a constitutional convention for an amendment on term limits, and to ensure that every law passed by congress applies equally to ALL citizens, AND members of the house and senate, AND the president.  We may already be beyond the point that this will do us any good.  I hope not. 

Third, we prepare ourselves for tough times.  It doesn’t matter what we do at this point, times are going to get tough.  The only question is whether they get kind of tough now because we choose to get our house in order, whether they get exponentially worse later because we continue kicking the can down the road.  People need to be prepared to survive without government, and without the usual system to which we have become accustomed.  You may not be able to just go to the store anytime you want something.  You may have to do without, or produce it yourself or with the help of friends and neighbors.  You will need to be able to defend yourself, your family, and perhaps friends and neighbors against those who will undoubtedly seek to take what you have and harm you when the free and easy stuff goes away.

Last, but actually the most important, is you MUST have something to hope for, otherwise what reason do you have to keep on living?  I’m talking about faith.  I’m a Christian and unapologetically believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that through my trust in Him I will get to heaven.  Without some sort of eternal hope, I can’t understand how anyone gets through most days on this earth in these crazy times.  And it’s only going to get worse.

Now is the time to choose sides.  You either believe in taking from others, or you believe in being responsible and in your abundance giving to others.  Good or evil.  The time is now.
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http://www.npr.org/2011/08/06/139027615/a-national-debt-of-14-trillion-try-211-trillion?sc=tw&cc=share

A National Debt Of $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion

by NPR Staff

August 6, 2011

When Standard & Poor’s reduced the nation’s credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, the United States suffered the first downgrade to its credit rating ever. S&P took this action despite the plan Congress passed this past week to raise the debt limit.

The downgrade, S&P said, “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”

It’s those medium- and long-term debt problems that also worry economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, who served as a senior economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He says the national debt, which the U.S. Treasury has accounted at about $14 trillion, is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We have all these unofficial debts that are massive compared to the official debt,” Kotlikoff tells David Greene, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered. “We’re focused just on the official debt, so we’re trying to balance the wrong books.”

Kotlikoff explains that America’s “unofficial” payment obligations — like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits — jack up the debt figure substantially.

Laurence J. Kotlikoff served as a senior economist on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers and is a professor of economics at Boston University.

Courtesy of Boston UniversityLaurence J. Kotlikoff served as a senior economist on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and is a professor of economics at Boston University.

“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” he says. “That’s our true indebtedness.”

We don’t hear more about this enormous number, Kotlikoff says, because politicians have chosen their language carefully to keep most of the problem off the books.

“Why are these guys thinking about balancing the budget?” he says. “They should try and think about our long-term fiscal problems.”

According to Kotlikoff, one of the biggest fiscal problems Congress should focus on is America’s obligation to make Social Security payments to future generations of the elderly.

“We’ve got 78 million baby boomers who are poised to collect, in about 15 to 20 years, about $40,000 per person. Multiply 78 million by $40,000 — you’re talking about more than $3 trillion a year just to give to a portion of the population,” he says. “That’s an enormous bill that’s overhanging our heads, and Congress isn’t focused on it.”

“We’ve consistently done too little too late, looked too short-term, said the future would take care of itself, we’ll deal with that tomorrow,” he says. “Well, guess what? You can’t keep putting off these problems.”

To eliminate the fiscal gap, Kotlikoff says, the U.S. would have to have tax increases and spending reductions far beyond what’s being negotiated right now in Washington.

“What you have to do is either immediately and permanently raise taxes by about two-thirds, or immediately and permanently cut every dollar of spending by 40 percent forever. The [Congressional Budget Office’s] numbers say we have an absolutely enormous problem facing us.”
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