United States Debt – Can We Rely on the Government?

Can I rely on the government for my financial security?

Here is a fiscal response, not a political response.

Fiscally, that is financially and mathematically, the answer to this question appears to be a bold and glaring ‘no’.


We need only to look at the government’s fiscal report card to determine its reliability as a source of my financial security.  Over the past thirty years the United States government has been engaging in gross over-consumption, to the point of consuming itself – taking you and me with it.  Suffice to say, the US government is strongly testing its ability to take care of itself, let alone actually being able to take care of you and me.

Ever since the 1980s the US government has been taking on exorbitant amounts of debt and choosing short-term gain with long-term loss by default.

The above chart is illustrating the development of US federal debt as a percentage of US gross domestic product from 1792-2010.  This chart is basically showing how many dollars of debt we have been taking on for each dollar of economic production.

That huge spike is World War II, when the many nations involved borrowed and printed enormous sums of money to finance their survival in war.  Big debt during times of war is acceptable and expected – in fact, it better be the case of our country is on the line.  What is unacceptable and not reasonable expected is the growth of debt following the war to end all wars.  The decades following 1945 did not feature major wars yet the debt remained at double the typical peace-time levels and continued to grow from there.

Right now, while you are reading these words, if you can believe it, the federal debt is equal to 97 percent of the GDP.  In other words, for every 100 dollars of economic production by the United States, the federal government takes on 97 dollars of debt – and that is just one form of debt.

It took 198 years for the US government to borrow the first trillion dollars and in only twelve years the government has borrowed another three trillion dollars.  In 2006, before the greatest explosion of federal spending, simply the interest on the national debt absorbed nearly 4 out of every 10 dollars of our income taxes.

To reflect taking on more debt, the US government has been spending well beyond its revenues, for decades.  It is possible to take on debt and not necessarily be spending beyond your income, for example taking out a loan for your car and paying the debt in pieces that are much smaller than your monthly income.

When the US government is running a deficit and taking on more debt this means that it is accumulating debt in addition to spending beyond its revenue.  This would be equivalent to you taking out a loan for your car and taking out a personal loan because you when tallying all of your monthly expenses you find that you are spending more than your monthly income.

The above chart is illustrating the amount that the US government spends beyond its revenue, expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).  Remember, GDP is economic production so we generally compare money flows to economic production for proper perspective.  In this case, by expressing deficits as a percentage of GDP we are showing how much the government is spending beyond revenues by comparison to the total economic value of the United States.

As you can see, the US government has been consistently spending beyond its means since 1960, except for a few periods of sound money management.  What is most obvious is that big red arrow pointing to a massive, steep rise in deficit spending.  You know when that is?  Right now.

The US government has been going into high gear with its fiscal irresponsibility and over-spending.  In only three years from 2007-2010 the US government increased deficit spending from 1 percent of GDP to 11 percent of GDP.  11 times! – due to unforgettable bank bailouts and spending on social programs that is only planned to increase, exponentially.

The final illustration of the US government’s frightening inability to provide my financial security is the increase in our money supply.   The government has been taking on enormous percentages of debt, spending well beyond its means, and printing money to cover its debt payments and finance its spending habits.

The above chart illustrates the growth in the US money supply since 1975.  The blue line charts the amount of dollars in circulation in the United States.  The US money supply has been consistently increasing for decades and you can see right before 2010 the line just goes vertical.  Again, this growth in the money supply is a reflection of the US government’s addiction to excess and ultimately harmful illusions of easy-money.

Even quickly glancing at these three charts is sufficient for you to know that the US government has not been qualified to provide its own financial security and is no more reliable to provide your financial security.  Simply know that if the line is going up, then US fiscal responsibility is going down.  Look at the charts once again.  Now, do you think relying on the government is a good idea?

Considering the astronomical and consistent growth in federal debt, deficit spending, and the money supply for decades, to say the leas the United States is broke – as a joke.  Yet, it is certainly not a joke, because you have to pay the bill.  You have to reform the system.  You have to cover you own assets or be financial ruined by an Unfunded Liabilities Monster surprise party.  I don’t know about you – I’m not big on surprise parties, unless the surprise is good.  And this surprise is not good.

At all.


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