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01:56 PM on 10/16/2009
For most people a trillion is an unimaginable number. Imagine a college football stadium that can hold 100,000 fans. Now imagine 10 million of them. That's a trillion. The U. S. total debt is greater than $T10. But just imagine that number if you can. Pay it off at the rate of $1 per second and it will take you 342,000 years.

Examine the debt of the world's so-called economic leaders and you'll find the U. K. and Germany have more than a $T1.3 each. Japan is even worse off. It's debt is expected to reach $T8 by the end of the year.

Who is the largest holder of U. S. debt? China. With 23 per cent.
Middle o/t Road = Yellow stripes & dead armadillos
12:57 AM on 10/19/2009
China is only the largest foreign holder of US debt. The single largest holder of debt is the US government itself, with money it has borrowed against itself at sweet 1% rates. Remember that whole "lock box" thing?
02:32 AM on 10/20/2009
bioluminescence, I considered your words. I can fathom a trillion and how to spend it as well...that would be different in quality and focus from the trillions spent and being spent. That said, I cut to the chase of the reason for commenting.

"Who is the largest holder of U. S. debt? China. With 23 per cent."

12:50 PM on 10/16/2009
I wouldn't change medicare eligibility age but social security at 62 is too early and I'm not 62 yet. So I don't fall into the category the media puts us all into: Everybody is for cutting entitlements except their own. Actually Social Security is not an entitlement, it is a transfer payment and it works fine as a safety net because it prevents us from having to worry about starving homeless people en masse who are too old/sick to work.

I wish we had more programs like social security that actually work efficiently. If we didn't have it we would have all these offices all over the place to do social work and they would be full of corruption, nepotism, patronage, political strife.

Right now, today, the congress can pass a bill that moves the social security eligibility age back by one month at the beginning of each year. After 12 years the eligibility age would be 63 instead of 62. Who is going to complain about such a small, smooth change? So let's just do it. I'll bet dems actually improve their standings in the polls immediately.
12:30 PM on 10/16/2009
First, on what planet do the republicans want to regulate Wall Street? It goes completely against their political philosophy of libertarianism. They basically handed our government and treasury over to big business, starting with Ronald Reagan and continuing during the Bush years.

Second, they succeeded in crashing the world's economy. As a major cheerleader for the Bush administration, Tony should either be apologizing or dancing in the street. If he cares about the plight of the millions of Americans whose lives will be compromised by the Bush policies, it should be an apology. If he is true libertarian, he should be celebrating. His policies have compromised the ability of America to fix itself. True libertarians believe they can maintain power only through the destruction of government's ability to help its people, which in turn comes through bankrupting the country.

So which is it Tony, an apology or dancing?
10:49 AM on 10/16/2009
Why weren't we talking debt load when we created two wars with nations that had nothing to do with 09/11?

I say raise taxes on the wealthy, regulate Wall St., let's see what happens to the debt. Let's just try that shall we? We tried big finance bailouts, Wall St. is doing fine. Let's try bailingout the average American citizen by making the wealthy pay their fair share.
09:41 PM on 10/16/2009
There is not a reason in the world why taxes shouldn't be raised on the wealthy.
They have such a free ride...corporate welfare is 37 !! times all the welfare spent on all the poor each year.
Tax every trade on Wall Street, that would bring in Billions...let's get real.
My micro-brewery is empty.
10:49 AM on 10/16/2009
Tony, we can thank Dubya Bush for proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that Reagonomics is a total fraud. Reagonomics only purposes are to:
1. Make the rich exponentially richer
2. Keep the middle class and poor in their place
11:17 AM on 10/17/2009
I'm just so F'ing mad about the whole situation. Why can't these people see that they are killing the middle class and poor? How can they not see that they have robbed this country?
My micro-brewery is empty.
10:44 AM on 10/16/2009
Tony, if you're worried about the national debt (and federal deficit) my question is: Where were you during the past eight years while the national debt was doubled and a massive surplus was turned into the biggest deficit in U.S. history.
Veritas vos Liberabit
11:08 AM on 10/16/2009
Where do you people get your numbers?

In 1999, before Bush took office, the debt as a percentage of GDP was 61%. In 2007, it was 65%.

It's true that, due to a Republican Congress and a cooperative President, the deficit was controlled for a couple of years 1998-2000.

As a result of the actions since 2008, the debt has jumped from 65% of GDP to 90% this year, with a budget to put it over 100% by 2011. There is nothing to blame this on except the decisions made in the last year of GWB and the current Obama administration.
-i dont buy the big lie
10:43 PM on 10/16/2009
bush came in with huge surpluses --he left with massive debt and deficits ----all the rest is gibberish
. just can not fail, if we never, ever stop
10:36 AM on 10/16/2009
It always costs money to fix things. I just wish the previous administration wouldn't have spent so much breaking it.
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10:31 AM on 10/16/2009
There is an elephant in the room no one is talking about. 57% of the federal budget is garnered by so-called defense. We are fighting over the crumbs. Shame on us for being complacent subjects of the world's pre-eminent military empire.

How do those other industrialized countries do it without similar destructive power? We are fools.

09:26 AM on 10/16/2009
“It soon may be not a risk but a certainty of generations-long economic stagnation and hard times as a direct result of "unsustainable" and ever-growing national debt, driven by a federal budget almost half of which is to be paid for each year by borrowing money...”
“On average, incomes have declined by 2.5 percent among the bottom fifth of families since the late 1990s, while increasing by 9.1 percent among the top fifth.
–In 19 states, average incomes have grown more quickly among the top fifth of families than among the bottom fifth since the late 1990s. In no state has the bottom fifth grown significantly faster than the top fifth.
– For very high-income families — the richest 5 percent — income growth since the late 1990s has been especially dramatic, and much faster than among the poorest fifth of families.
–On average, incomes have grown by just 1.3 percent among the middle fifth of families since the late 1990s, well below the 9.1 percent gain among the top fifth. Income disparities between the top and middle fifths have increased significantly in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas. Income disparities did not decline significantly in any state”
The rabbit hole was not dug in months. The slope was slippery yesterday. An honest attempt to fix the broken is not the same as doing the breaking.
09:15 AM on 10/16/2009
Where was the uproar over the debt when Bush doubled it? What about when the "debate" was going on about getting involved in Iraq? Hundreds of billions in wars, no problem. You want to help sick people? The right has gotta problem with dat buddy!

The Republican Party - fiscally conservative since January 20, 2008
(for all you tea partiers and birthers - that is the day President Obama was inaugurated)
08:55 AM on 10/16/2009
When you suggest that we return to a 91% tax rate on the wealthiest Americans to avoid this 'unsustainable debt' then I might take something else you say seriously.
07:55 AM on 10/16/2009
Hmmmm, funny you don't mention the biggest debt of that last two centuries. You know a little thing called the Iraq war! Amazing how you can pontificate about everything BUT the war debt. Wasn't it your Republican buddies who started that crap!
07:16 AM on 10/16/2009
Washington's debt IS Wall Street's failure. The distinction between Wall St and Washington is harder and harder to find.
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
06:57 AM on 10/16/2009
"Deficits don't matter. Reagan taught us that." - Dick Cheney
Veritas vos Liberabit
09:34 AM on 10/16/2009
It's childish to quote this repeatedly without attempting to understand it.

The Reagan idea was that deficits don't matter, but the debt does matter. This is true in your individual life as it is in the macroeconomic sense. You might use your credit to run a deficit for some period of time in order to accomplish specific goals. You then pay this off over time. However, if you continue to finance with no real hope of paying it off, you will be "bankrupt".

In this discussion, the numbers matter. Reagan reluctantly engaged in deficits that were 3% or 4% of the GDP while total debt was 45%. Obama has embraced deficits that are 8% and 10% of GDP while total debt reaches 100%.
If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally
08:09 PM on 10/16/2009
It's worth nothing what Dick Cheney said (or didn't say) when Paul O'Neill questioned the second round of tax cuts:

"We won the midterms. This is our due."


"This will stimulate the economy"


"This will increase revenue"


"This is what's best for the country"


"This is our due"
Dogmatic Dictators, believers or not, not welcome
06:19 AM on 10/16/2009
Just a shame you didn't wake up to this while Reagan and the 2 Bushes generated about 2/3 of it. You might actually have some credibility then.

You can't cry wolf when the Democrats are in power after you've been sleeping on your watch when your party was.