By now everyone has seen and played with the US debt clock via usdebtclock.org whereby anyone who so wishes, can find every little detail about America's current sad fiscal state. The fact that America currently has just under $14 trilllion in national debt should be no surprise to anyone who professes to having an even modest interest in the state of the US economy. Yet a new feature on the "debt clock", namely one which extrapolates future debt at current rates of advancement (instead of one based on the always completely inaccurate CBO estimates), and looks at US debt in the year 2015 will probably make many stop dead in the their tracks. If anyone thought that $14 trillion in 2010 debt is bad, just wait until we hit $24.5 trillion in total US national debt in 2015. And it gets even more surreal: total US Unfunded Liabilities are estimated at $144 trillion, roughly $1.2 million per taxpayer... Was that a pin dropping?
As Zero Hedge has long been predicting, we anticipate roughly $2 trillion in incremental debt per year. Surprisingly we are not far too off from where the "debt clock" sees US leverage in 5 years. At an estimated $24.5 trillion in federal debt, our $2 trillion per year run rate is spot on. Another thing that is spot on: our prediction that the US will need not one but two debt ceiling increases in 2011. And probably 6-8 over the next 5 years.
Some other observations for the US economy in 2015 simply assuming current conditions persist:
- Federal spending will be $3.3 trillion per year, and with federal revenue of $2.3 trillion (this number will be reduced as it also assumes $731 billion in payroll tax, a number which will likely be indefinitely reduced) the result is a budget deficit of $983.7 billion.
- Annual Medicare/Medicaid expenses will be just over $1 trillion
- US population: 326.8 million
- US workforce 131.3 million (and declining)
- Officially unemployed: 19.4 million
- Actual unemployed: 22.3 million
- State/Federal employees: 17.9 million
- People on SSN and other retirees: 72.6 million
And the most critical data:
- Food stamp recipients: 89.7 million
- Foreclosures: 2 million
- Social Security Liability: $19 trillion
- Medicare Liability: $99 trillion
- Total US Unfunded Liabilities: $144 trillion
- Gross Debt to GDP: 143%
Should one of the bolded predictions hit, the travails of Greek and Irish bondholders will be nothing compared to what those unlucky enough to be in possession of US debt in 2015 will have to go through.