This Halloween, be afraid, be very afraid…of the national debt.
This year marks the second annual Halloween edition of Economic Collapse News’s “scary facts about the national debt.” Last year, it was one of the most popular articles during the season, which was also just before the presidential election, a campaign that essentially guaranteed both candidates would increase the national debt.
Right now, the United States faces a more than $17 trillion national debt, annual interest payments of $350 billion and $122 trillion in unfunded liabilities and expenditures and no one seems to care. These are unsustainable figures and something must be done to address it, but it appears that no one has the political will and, according to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, nothing else can be done because the “cupboard is bare.”
Earlier this year, President Obama, Democrats, civil servants and unions became enraged after the U.S. government decreased the annual increase in the rate of spending (not a cut). If this $85 billion out of a $4 trillion budget incites anger, imagine what would have happened in Ron Paul won the election and instituted $1 trillion in cuts in his first year.
With that being said, here are five scary facts about the astronomical, terrifying, spooky and intricate $17 trillion national debt that will terrify you on Halloween – forget Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees or Leatherface!
1. The national debt is equal to the gross domestic product (GDP). Since the 2008 economic collapse, the share of the debt was at close to 80 percent and now it’s at 100 percent. Soon, that figure will surpass 100 percent and debt will become the entire nation’s economy – the International Monetary Fund predicts government debt will rise to 400 percent of U.S. GDP.
In fact, the U.S. has more debt per capita than any of the PIIGS nations.
2. At the end of the fiscal year 2013, net interest payments on the debt was a total $420.6 billion, including the debt’s interest, Social Security and other government trust funds. With interest rates inevitably inching higher, annual debt interest payments could exceed $1 trillion within the next 10 years.
3. Everyone seems to have a stake in the national debt: China owns $1.3 trillion, Japan has $1.1 trillion, Taiwan maintains nearly $200 billion, Brazil possesses more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, Canada owns $65 billion and so on. This is sad, especially for a nation that was once the creditor of the world, which now has transformed into the largest debtor of the world.
It should be noted, however, that the largest holder of U.S. debt is the Federal Reserve with $2 trillion.
4. Taxing the rich: if Bill Gates gave his entire fortune to the U.S. government then it would only cover the budget deficit for an extra 15 days. In fact, if the government were to tax 100 percent of all millionaires’ and billionaires’ wealth it would only keep the doors of Congress open for about 90 to 100 days.
5. If you spent one dollar each second starting at this point, it would take you 31,000 years to spend $1 trillion – heck, if you were alive when Jesus Christ was and you spent $1 million each day it still wouldn’t equate to $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the U.S. now adds close to a $1 trillion every year – this fiscal year it is about half a trillion dollars.
Remember, the U.S. national debt is officially $17 trillion, but it has been reported that economic professors say it’s more in the lines of $70 trillion and even as high as $222 trillion if officials were to include unfunded liabilities and expenditures.