Well, we did it. It took a lot of work and the effort of tens of thousands of bureaucrats all pushing in the same direction, but we reached a milestone of failure so colossal that it can barely be imagined. Honestly, I didn’t think we’d get here quite so soon, what with all those earnest Republicans talking about how we need a smaller, more responsible government but darned if most of them didn’t lean into the task with all the vigor of a big-government Democrat. So here we are, standing on a pinnacle from which we can survey the entire world.
Today, at about 4 PM Central Time, our national debt hit the $16 trillion dollar mark. And we didn’t even stop for a sip of champagne.
We hit this mark despite the first-ever downgrade of our national credit rating, a contentious debt ceiling debate, unemployment over 8% for the longest period in history not called The Great Depression, credit crises all over Europe, no actual budget for three years, and a spontaneously-formed grassroots movement of millions of Americans all shouting “STOP”. The obligation our debt puts on each of us is the heaviest in the world.
[Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala] noted that the U.S. has more debt-per-citizen than Portugal, Italy, Spain, or Greece — four of the so-called PIIGS of the European Union (Ireland is the fifth) who have defaulted or risk defaulting on their debt.
In other words, we’re on the edge of a precipice and the ground is mighty slippery.
One note here. I mentioned the debt ceiling debate earlier in the post. The outcome of that little exercise in bureaucratic “I’ll wash your back if you wash mine” camraderie was that the debt limit actually increased to just a shade under $16.4 trillion dollars, so we’re not very far from another debt ceiling debate during which I’m sure our leaders in Washington will get even more use out of their loofah sponges. Meanwhile, your share of the debt right now as a citizen stands at almost $51,000. If you pay taxes (and almost half of America does not), you owe about $140,000.
In other words, if you’re a taxpayer, you owe more than the median value of a house in 13 out of 50 states. That number is only going up and it will continue to go up until we do something to stop it.
Are you ready to stop it? Your chance is coming in November. You will have the opportunity to put people in Washington who will take our debt seriously and cut our government down to a more reasonable size. To be sure, the plans on the table are a long way from where they need to be, but the beauty of our political system is that we the people wield the power. There is nothing a politician wants more than job security and if we vote out a few big-spenders and put a few responsible government types in their places, the message will start to sink in. First, check out our free e-book. Then send the message that needs to be sent.
Sixteen trillion dollars is a milestone we should never have reached. Let us make sure we don’t hit $17 trillion.