Iraq, Katrina, Homeland Sec., Tax cuts, Trans. Bill.- Where's the money coming from?

This stuff is pretty expensive. How are we going to manage to pay for all these things without taking money from necessary services and infrastructure expenditures? We can’t keep borrowing forever… or can we?

Do you pay taxes?

Will your great-grandchildren pay taxes?

I suppose that’s the question. Expenditures have (seemingly) gone up considerably with these big projects, but it’s claimed we can get without increasing taxes. Good news for me as a current five figure taxpayer, but I’ve got to wonder is this sustainable or is this progressively stacking debt load going to serious future problems.

I mentioned it in another thread. Remember Reagan? Remember how the US was doomed? Go ahead and tell me what the deficit was. It took about 15 years to bounce back to a surplus. I distinctly remember hearing from my teachers that America was in trouble and all us kids would spend the rest of our lives paying off the “senseless” debt of the Cold War.

Seems to have worked out pretty well.

Well then, that means that another Clinton will have to be president to make things right. :slight_smile:

Underpants gnomes.

Nope. They’ve been hired as telemarketers. :eek:

How 'bout cutting some of the pork and waste before we take from “necessary services and infrastructure expenditures”? You sound just like our local politicians who scare their constituents with stories of slashed police forces and no more libraries in order to keep the tax rates high enough to support their pet projects.

Now, while I’m no fan of pork in government, don’t these ‘pet projects’ ultimately end up employing constituents and adding to the tax base? How many military bases, public services, auto and military hardware plants, are, strictly speaking, busywork? But I assume there’s some economic stimulus involved.

Speaking for the rest of the American people, we were kinda hoping that you personally would pay for it all.

And here I was hoping that you would reach for the check.

I heard a short statement on NPR this morning that suggested the US would be borrowing the money to pay off Katrina - that our national debt would hover around 700 Billion (I hope it was a “B” not a “T” I heard) instead of near 500 Billion. It was a “T” wasn’t it?

The opinion being stated was that we would be paying higher interest rates on our national debt, but it hopefully would not impact our economy as far as inflation/high interest rates internally.

For what’s it worth. I’m very uncomfortable with such high debt - but we’ve dug a big hole and there’s no other option that I can see - we have to rebuild. Maybe a future leader will have a more long-sighted view when dealing with our debt. How can we be secure and have such high debt at the same time? I would never do this to my personal finances, why is it different for a nation??

Deficit, not debt. But I was only half-awake when I had the alarm come on to Morning Edition, so I might be wrong. The current national debt is higher than 10 trillion.

I think it was that our national debt would go from about 5 Trillion to around 7 Trillion - I know they were speaking debt, not deficit - I just think I had my decimal points off.

So here’s another question for someone in the know - What is our country’s debt:asset ratio? I know for Maine, the general feel is that if you are not borrowing in excess of 5% of the total asset (revenue?) pool, then bonds are a great way to fund necessities such as new bridges/environmental cleanups/etc.
So, should we do this on a National level? It seems everyone has a good firm set of rules for personal or even governmental spending/borrowing as long as it’s on a smaller level - then once you get to National level, no one seems to have a clue as to what is really good or bad. Why is it so hard to apply the same rules to the National level???

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller??

This is an example of the Broken Window Fallacy (which is, essentially, the error of forgetting that money not spent for X would otherwise be spent on Y, and thus failing to consider the alternative benefits of Y).

Beat the OP by 12 hours. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

As pointed out in the parallel thread, you are going to spend the rest of your life paying off that debt. Just because the budget deficit was temporarily eliminated in the '90s doesn’t mean that the federal debt was all gone. It simply means that for a few years, the government had managed to start paying down the debt rather than continuing to increase it.

A sizable chunk of your federal taxes is indeed still being used to pay interest on the debt added during the Reagan years (and the lesser amount added during the Clinton years before the budget was balanced, and the lesser amount accumulated in all previous administrations), and probably will be for the rest of your taxpaying life. However, it will be dwarfed by the chunk of your taxes required to pay interest on the debt added by the current administration, if that’s any comfort to you.

Here’s the national debt levels from 1950 to 2000. And here’s the recent figures for the last few years. As Kimstu pointed out, we’ve been in debt a long time. Even on those few occasions in which the federal government isn’t borrowing new money, the interest on the existing debt keeps it growing all by itself. And right now, we are borrowing new money.

The national debt, as of today, is $7,924,721,175,420.74. That’s an average of over $26,000 for every American. In the last year alone, it increased at a rate of $1,540,000,000 per day.

The answer to this question:

Where’s the money coming from?

Is China and any other countries willing to continue to buy the US debt. Now, you could argue that China only has that money because we sent it to them (trade deficit), but it seems to me that eventually they’ll start taking our money and investing it elsewhere at which point we’ll be pretty well screwed.

I recently recieved campaign literature (from a Democrat, imagine that) that described that as a $26,000 birth tax.

I thought that was clever. Although it really isn’t a tax, its a birth liability.