You Are Here

Tyler Durden's picture

For every man, woman, and child in America, the country's debt load amounts to over $50,000 each. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes, the national debt has not always been the hot-button issue it is today. In the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter administrations, inflation-adjusted debt per capita dropped. Let's revisit this chart afer 3 more years of hope-and-change, when total US debt is over $20 trillion.



and while this is surging (and clearly unsustainable), compared to much of Europe, it remains low...


Edited from Bloomberg

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
DaddyO's picture

Legacy, is this the real Legacy we want to leave our children?

Crash is optimistic, this isn't going to end well...


BrocilyBeef's picture

Suck my left and right testicles, Senator Nelson W. Aldrich. You stupid cunt.

BrocilyBeef's picture

"Love your enemies." Any help on this one folks?

James_Cole's picture

Floating interest rates and voodoo economics FTW

SafelyGraze's picture

the solution is as obvious as it is simple:

infinite debt

when you have infinite debt, you can borrow more while keeping the debt infinite

that is, no change in the total debt from year to year

think this through: 

let's say you owe an infinite amount of interest on an infinite debt


borrow the money

infinitely much

pay off the interest

problem solved

jack lew are you listening?

open your mind.

free yourself to consider the new possibilities


Winston Churchill's picture

I'd forgotten it was mushroom season.

Watch where you graze,graze.

SafelyGraze's picture

I hear *that*

friday night.

gotta chill, chill.

sitting in the cow pasture, watching infinity

boogerbently's picture

Well, the only historic option is tax increases.

We've never tried the "spending less" route.

Joenobody12's picture

There is another solution.Lets fuck and beget more children. That should decrease the per capita debt load.

MontgomeryScott's picture

Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain...United States...,

I bet the people in the first four countries fuck as well (Italians are supposedly breeders, Portugal and Spain are predominatly Catholic, and Greece...well, you know where the expression 'Greek' came from).


Cruel Aid's picture

Hey Joe, good call that works on paper

All Risk No Reward's picture

The chart is wrong.

National debt increased every year under Clinton.

Public debt did not - but that excludes transfer debt, which doesn't matter as long as you've come to term swith your social security and medicare systems being 100% empty with no chance of every being paid back (when the Ponzi finally cracks, that is).

Headbanger's picture

And here I was thinking the solution was one good size asteroid hitting NYC and DC!

Muddy1's picture

"Let's revisit this chart afer 3 more years of hope-and-change, when total US debt is over $20 trillion."


It won't take 3 years.  I'll bet we're there by the end of FY2015.

asteroids's picture

I think if you work out the numbers for Japan, they are the winners with $1M/person.

TheRedScourge's picture

Yeah, but as we all know, Asians are more creditworthy than white people.

All Risk No Reward's picture

Pay close attention - this is the supra-national banking cartel's sleight of hand that has deceived nearly every economist and everyone else in the entire world...

They claim that debt doesn't matter in Japan because "they owe it to themselves."

Did you catch it?  They are using your inate tribalism to hide their highway robbery...  "Japan" doesn't really even exist - just a lot of individuals that live on an island.

The debt is owed to other people - and it doesn't matter if that other person is Japanese in many respects.

For example, take North Korea.  Say their balance sheet balanced out - an "eCONNEDomist would say "that's just dandy, no problem in North Korea because they owe all the debt to themselves."

The fact that all the monetary wealth is owned and controlled by Kim Jung Un can clan and everyone else is impoverished with inextinguishable debt (when money is debt, debt must exist for money to exist and inextinguishable debt must exist for monetary wealth to exist) and the average eCONNEDomist was duped into not seeing the problem.

I'm not saying North Korea had debt money forced upon it by its tyrants like the US, but I use them as an example because they are not alright even if the sociopathic Rockefeller financed eCONomic models and operant conditioning say all is well.

All Risk No Reward's picture

Factoid Alert:

The "A." in Nelson A. Rockefeller stands for Aldrich.

The families married together - I'm not sure, but I think that snake Aldrich's daughter married into the Rockefellers.

I wonder if the "Nelson" in Nelson A. Rockefeller is a tribute to the Nelson Aldrich.

It is interesting how small the world gets when you xit the Matrix and start connecting the dots...

The Brain...

U4 eee aaa's picture

Intermarriage among the elite probably splains a lot of their decisions

olto's picture

That Carter was -8% is something I never knew

Of course, we had very little debt in those days, but I think a lot of it was due to reducing the speed limit to 55mph

BrocilyBeef's picture

Right.... so we should just drop the speed limit to 45MPH and problems solved?

Chuck Walla's picture

Right.... so we should just drop the speed limit to 45MPH and problems solved?

Well, an alien invasion would be a big help, too.


U4 eee aaa's picture

Only hope is to slap it in reverse is my guess

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re: That Carter was -8% is something I never knew


Carter vs Reagan.    How the "Conservatives" loved Reagan's economics.

Disclaimer:   I did when I was a "Conservative". 

Oldwood's picture

Yes, the Carter years were GREAT! Debt was low because interest rates were incredibly high. Nobody could afford to borrow money. I gought a used car from a Chrysler dealer in 79 and paid 19%. Yes, many fond memories!

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  Nobody could afford to borrow money


Well, that's a good thing right?   I mean, if this site stands for ANYTHING it's that debt is bad.  And debt used for consumption is the worse thing EVER.

You should repent to an image of Carter that you EVER considered buying a car with debt.   Shame on you.   

Verre vos misses (or whatever the names of the guy these semi-austistic child-like libertarians keep quoting) would be ashamed of you.


Professorlocknload's picture

Had to borrow to eat in those days. Prices were going up over 10% a year with wages stagnant. Yeah, Ctrl=P was full on, to trash the currency and save the Fed. Ludwig had a sayin' 'bout that.

darteaus's picture

AND the higher pay kicked you into a higher income tax bracket because they weren't adjusted for inflation!  Somehow, Congress just couldn't straighten that out-until Reagan.

James_Cole's picture

You guys are too funny, every other thread on zh it's "dem liberalz be runnin' up deh debt and destroyin' 'merica!!!" but on here.. Fuck Jimmy Carters minus 8, those days sucked! Go Reagan +92%!!

W.M. Worry's picture

textbook cognitive dissonance........

James_Cole's picture

That election was a hilarious contrast.

Carter: America I have bad news, you need to start living within your means.

Reagan: Whoa whoa, who is dr. Buzzkill over here?? Amirite? Fuck that noise America, no limit credit bitchez, party in the U-S-A!

'Conservative' America: Carter you're fired and we hate you forever. Reagan, we love you already.

TheRedScourge's picture

Cold war is expensive, doesn't matter if you're a lefty or righty. If Obama gets to dodge responsibility for the bailouts because "It's all Bush's fault because Clinton was perfect" then so does Reagan.

darteaus's picture

Before completely making your mind up about Jimmuh, check out this Carter resume:

#1 Inflation:

Carter inherited inflation of 4.9% on election night and 5.2% on inauguration day.  Not great, but not terrible, no?

Continuous rises during Carter's presidency brought it to peak at 14.8% in March 1980, and drop a bit to 11.8% when he left office.  Did you get that?  Inflation rose all during his presidency.  No end in sight.

In 1982-less than 2 years into Reagan's presidency and the first year of Reagan's budget (FY 10/81-10/82) inflation was below 6.5%.  Now, that was done in concert w/Volker at the Fed and the price was high unemployment for a year or two.

#2 Unemployment:

Average for his 4 years: 7.6%.  Not really that bad, but it started high, dropped for 2 years and then came roaring back in the last year.  Again, no end in sight.

#3 Budget:

Although Carter had pledged to eliminate federal deficits, the deficit for the fiscal year 1979 totaled $27.7 billion, and that for 1980 was nearly $59 billion.  Those numbers seem small now (how far we've come!), but they show he was printing and spending, but things were getting worse with no end in sight!  This is part of the reason that the inflation figures were so bad.  Aside: the Feds know how to fake them thesedays.

#4 Foreign Relations:

This category is the worst part of his record.

November 1975 - Cubans beging to show up in force in Angola.  Eventually, 350,000 Cuban soldiers in Angola will be helping "revolutionary forces".  Peak occurs when Jimmuh was president.

In 1977 - Soviet backed Somalia & 20,000 Cuban troops invade Ethiopia.  Jimmuh was president.

In 1977 - The US agrees to GIVE the Panama Canal to the Panamanian tyrant Manuel Noriega-for no compensation!?  Jimmuh was president.  BTW-the Chinese now have major trans-shipping operations at the ports on both ends.

In 1978 - Camp David accords signed.  This was actually  a good thing. Jimmuh was president.

In 1979 - Soviets invade Afganistan.  Soviet Union no longer believes it must use the fig leaf of Cuban troops.  Jimmuh was president.

In 1979 - Shah leaves Iran.  Iran becomes the first Islamic theocracy in modern times. Jimmuh was president.

In 1979 - Peoples Revolutionary Government establishes itself in Grenada.  Second openly Communist government established in western hemisphere.  Immediately begins building ruways long enough to service Soviet strategic bombers. Jimmuy was president.

In 1979 - Sandinista National Liberation Front siezes power in Nigaragua.  First Communist dictatorship on continental Americas.  Jimmuh was president.

But the worst thing for Carter: Was the November 1979 siezure of the US embassy in Iran and the capture of its personnel.  The siezure of a country's embassy is an outright act of war.  Jimmuh and his generals micromanaged a failed rescue attempt which made him look even weaker.  Hostages are release on the EXACT DAY Reagan is sworn in.  The joke of the time: "What's flat and glows in the dark on January 21, 1980? Tehran."


Is this honestly the picture of human rights on the march?  HECK NO!

It's the picture of an incompetent chump dropping his books and lunch while all the bullies in the school yard take turns bitch-slapping him.  Some say he's a kind soul, and he may be (probably is).

But, the record is pretty clear: Jimmuh was an incompetent President.  

Disclaimer: I'm working from memory here, so I may have skipped some key events.

olto's picture


you skipped some pretty important stuff

but naming them will not help because your 'position' is from a world that I don't want to live


all the same, there is space for every individual of each species on this planet

some will be of a different opinion---

nothing to do about that

seek's picture

You are aware the Reagan's team negotiated that Iran keep the hostages until Carter was out of office, right? In exchange for supplying weapons and unfreezing Iran's bank accounts?

Carter was likely the last honest president we've had. I don't lean in his direction but he was handed a shit sandwich and had people in both parties actively conspiring to undermine and weaken his presidency. Most of the outcomes were due to TPTB trying to make sure he wouldn't see a second term, and how he's been treated since makes it pretty obvious he was never a part of TPTB team.

Ham-bone's picture

It was Carter that appointed Volcker as Fed chief in '79 with full knowledge the pain rate increases would cause...don't give the credit for this to Reagan.  Carter did this in August ahead of the election...pretty big ballz. 

I too wonder if Carter, flawed as he was, was the last honest president???

Tinky's picture

"...the last honest president?"

Almost certainly, as underscored by his behavior after leaving office, vis-a-vis the rest of the criminals.

olto's picture


Most people still have to borrow to eat in these united states of america

Umh's picture

Borrowing is when you pay it back.

Oldwood's picture

How about a compromise at say 5-8% rather than zero or 20? This kind of reveals your liberal underpinnings. Liberals demand that a conservatives only legitimate action is suicide. As we rail against the rules that we see imposed upon us, if we dare drive at the speed limit, avoid prison time by paying our taxes, or even borrow the money to buy a used car to keep our job, we are a hypocrite sellout. For the liberal, there is no litmus test. They can feel free to do as they wish for they live in a liberal world that easily enables everything they believe. There is not even a reconciliation between their stated goals and results, as if they were to ever admit a failing they claim its failure is due to conservative handicapping or better yet, even if proven completely misguided, it was always done with the best of intentions. Its about the children.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re;  we are a hypocrite sellout.

I've got nothing against REAL conservatives who don't live off Big-Gov scams and don't want Big-Gov imposing the will of their imaginary-friend on the rest of society.

You're either a conservative or a fake "conservative", who is no better than than a "liberal" or "Progressive" or a socialist or fascist (which is what "Conservatives" actually are).

There's very few REAL Libertarians.   Big-Gov is way too much fun to run and way to much fun to live off of.

Oldwood's picture

Maybe you could make a score card where we could all be judged as to our degree of hypocrisy as few of us could claim purity. As our latest government shut down has proven, none of us can survive more than a few weeks without suckling on a Big-Gov scam.

darteaus's picture

Bad debt is bad, and good debt is good!

Bad Debt: Borrowing money to buy things that go down in value: cars, boats, clothes, TVs, spinning rims, etc.

Good Debt: Borrowing money to buy things that go up in value or have a positive cash flow: MD degree, airline pilot training, farmland, SOME small businesses, paying off high interest debt with lower interest debt, etc.

TheRedScourge's picture

You forgot about mislabelled debt: debt to buy things we THINK provide a return on investment but do not in reality, such as a degree from almost any government run educational institution, or starting a business that you are told you didn't build, thus making it not stealing when the government inevitably takes it away from you incrementally so as to bolster their balance sheet to continue to rack up moar bad/mislabelled debt.

darteaus's picture

Yes, my friend. As in all things, caveat emptor!

Joenobody12's picture

Buyingstock on margin is good debt. Even better debt is trading option on margin like I do.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

That '79 Chrysler should've come with a life insurance policy. Americans made some shitty ass cars in the '70's. Carter was at the very least a decent man. Unlike the rest of these scoundrels who have inhabited the White House the past 33 years.