Debt Insanity: Does Anyone In Washington Even Care That We Are 20 Trillion Dollars In Debt?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

There has been a tremendous amount of talk about the spending deal that was just reached in Congress. Most of the focus has been on who “won” and who “lost” politically, and if you have been keeping up with my articles you definitely know my opinion on the matter.

But what nobody is really talking about is that this deal actually increases spending at a time when our debt has been absolutely exploding. We added more than a trillion dollars a year to the U.S. national debt during Obama’s eight years in the White House, and our debt binge actually accelerated toward the end of his second term. In fact, the national debt increased by more than 1.4 trillion dollars during fiscal 2016

In fiscal 2016, which ended on Friday, the federal debt increased $1,422,827,047,452.46, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.


At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury. By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.

Since we are already in so much debt, we might as well shoot for the moon, right?

This new spending deal increases spending in a whole bunch of different ways, but it doesn’t do anything to raise more revenue.

At the moment, the U.S. national debt is stuck at $19,846,087,305,498.20 because the debt ceiling has not been raised. The federal government is using accounting tricks to keep that number from moving, but the moment the debt ceiling is finally raised by Congress that number will jump up by hundreds of billions of dollars.

By the time fiscal 2017 is over, we will almost certainly have added at least another trillion dollars to the debt, and the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that an additional $10 trillion will be added to the debt over the next ten years.

These days we toss around the phrase “a trillion dollars” as if it isn’t a big deal.

But it is a big deal.

Let me share a little illustration with you to give you an idea just how much money a trillion dollars is. If you started spending a million dollars every single day on the day that Jesus Christ was born and you kept on spending a million dollars every day since then, you still would not have spent a trillion dollars by now.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and I would say that we are enslaving ourselves, but that is not exactly accurate because we don’t actually have any intention of ever paying any of this debt back. Instead, we plan to just keep going into more debt for years to come.

Sadly, it will be our children and our grandchildren that will have to deal with all of this debt if our nation lasts that long. Thomas Jefferson was entirely accurate when he described government debt as a way for one generation to steal money from another, and since the day that Barack Obama first entered the White House, the federal government has been stealing more than 100 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

Just think about that for a moment.

If some thieves could somehow get away with stealing 100 million dollars from someone, that would make headlines all over the globe.

But this is what we are doing to future generations of Americans every single hour of the day.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal, and in a just society those that are responsible for getting us into so much debt would be going to prison.

When you are in the middle of a debt binge, it can seem like there will never be any consequences, but the truth is that a day of reckoning always arrives eventually.

One of the reasons why I get so fired up about the national debt is because it could literally destroy the bright future that our descendants were supposed to have.

If you look back over the long-term, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt has been somewhere around 6 percent.

Of course at the moment we are nowhere near that level, but it is inevitable that interest rates will move back toward the long-term average eventually.

So let’s imagine that the average rate of interest got back to just 5 percent. If that happened, we would be paying about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt and we would be facing national bankruptcy.

Of course the Federal Reserve would likely start printing money like mad at that point, and we would rapidly become another Venezuela or Zimbabwe.

But if it is so dangerous for governments to go into so much debt, why do they do it?

Well, for one thing most politicians don’t really care about long-term considerations. Instead, they actually want the government to spend lots of money in the short-term, because government spending always gives a boost to short-term economic activity.

And if the economy is “doing well” in the short-term, it is more likely that the voters will be in a good mood when voting time arrives.

This is something that Barack Obama understood very well. He inherited quite an economic mess, and so he went on the greatest government debt binge in American history. As I explained in a previous article, if we had not borrowed and spent 9.3 trillion dollars during the time that Obama was in the White House, we would be in the worst economic depression in our history right at this moment.

Of course by going into so much debt, our long-term problems have been magnified.

It had been hoped that with the Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives that a sense of fiscal responsibility would return to Washington, but that obviously has not happened. So now the stage is set for the kind of financial meltdown that I have been warning about for a very long time.

At one time the Republicans would at least give lip service to trying to control the debt, but now they also seem to have become convinced that our exploding national debt doesn’t really matter.

There are a few dozen members of the House and a handful of Senators that are still keeping up the fight, but they are vastly outnumbered.

Even though we were the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet, that was never enough for us.

We always had to have more, and so we have accumulated the greatest mountain of debt in the history of the world.

There will be severe consequences for what we have done, but the warnings are being ignored, and so now all that is left is for us to reap what we have sown.

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Stan522's picture

We know the democrats don't they were dead silent during obama's $10 trillion run....

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Does Anyone In Washington Even Care That We Are 20 Trillion Dollars In Debt?


"...are you hedged for infinity?"

techpriest's picture

$1 trillion ~ $3,000 per American/$12,000 for a household of 4
$20 trillion ~ $60,000 per American/$240,000 for a household of 4

It's not getting paid back. Who has the money?

Pinto Currency's picture

The US is $66T in debt not $20T in debt.
If you want to have the conversation, at least get the numbers right.

techpriest's picture

Man, that much better:

$66T -> $198k per person, and $792k per household of 4.

Even if you drain all of the IRAs and 401ks, and raid every billionaire's bank account, there isn't even enough to steal outright let alone soft-steal through taxes.

Pinto Currency's picture

The King of Debt needs to write-down the debt and shut down the Fed.
Alternative is currency failure and famine.

Mr. Universe's picture

"Shmita, shmita, shmita? Where in the hell did I put my debt Jubilee proclamation? Jared must still be working on it with Ivanka."

wren's picture

Peanuts. We won't get into the $106 Trillion in federal unfunded liability, $27 Trillion in Medicare liability, $15 Trillion in Social Security liability, etc. The $20 Trillion in debt may be a lot, but add all these figures up and you have disaster. Of course, I'm not an economist and am only a rough study, maybe someone else can explain what all these numbers mean for the US. But for me, big numbers associated with debt are bad numbers. Low numbers are good numbers.

Mr. Universe's picture

I don't know, I hope you don't live in Oregon or this might be a problem.

Of course, I'm not an economist

They might arrest you for practicing economics without a license. Which of course is punishment by death.

Justin Case's picture

Since we are already in so much debt, we might as well shoot for the moon, right?

Just wait til the bond holders get a wiff of that attitude. It's like when someone starts running up cedit cards and the card issuer sees the card holder running up unusual transactions. In no time "Declined" appears. China and Russia already have their own version of SWIFT and use local currencies for trade. Others that will feel that USD are shakie will transition out of trade in USD and start reducing reserves and liquidate USD denominated debt.

piliage's picture

See? Bernanke told you that all we needed to do to fix everything was take on more debt. So we need MOAR!!

Sanity Bear's picture

The only rational way to deal with this much debt is look a squirrel.

MalteseFalcon's picture

You debt guys have been dogging this issue for 70+ years.

Remember Pete Peterson's 'hockey stick'?

One day you may be right.

You have no idea when.

Not even within 25 years.

Can we focus for a minute on what is being funded?

Why $ for planned parenthood during a Trump administration.

techpriest's picture

A little farther down the thread I mentioned the bit about money being a proxy for resources, and in this case, there cannot be enough real resources to pay back the debt, and further, with negative interest rates no rational investor would lend a house and get a car in return.

IMO the only explanation is lending as tribute. You lend to the mafia boss at irrational rates because he does such a great job at keeping your business "safe."

TeethVillage88s's picture

State Corporatism? State Capitalism?

Corporatocracy /?k??rp?r??t?kr?si/, is a recent term used to refer to an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.

National Socialism married to Globalism... and in globalism all states are married to their Systemically Important Corporations.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Oh yes. We do know when the 'debt will matter'....when interest rates rise. Somewhere in the 4-5% its over, maybe even below that point depending upon the more debt being created in the system.

Sudden Debt's picture

Anybody who isn't preparing for this shit is a moron.

There's simply to few people who have any savings let alone assets outside the banking sector

So anyone who prepares better shut the fuck up about it against anybody

Darktarra's picture

Truth be known, the American people/Federal government are near $240,000,000,000,000.00 in debt.  So $20 trillion is pocket change. 

Every year, the budget gets reset.  Last years budget rolls back to zero, but the debt doesn't go away.  

Here is a link showing the total aggregate debt of the United States (Half way down the page):



TeethVillage88s's picture

Hedgeless; He looks like Woody Allen or Rick Moranis in this one I swear.

Little Shop of Horrors

Or No Steve Martin

The Jerk

Dear President Trump

Shalom, God's Peace be upon you.

Short Note. You can Campaign all you want, you have to. But let's figure out how you can Use Senate Leader to whip up support for your Mandates, and the House Leader to secure your agenda. About time isn't it? Leadership. It is always Leadership or the Lack or Planning. Your Populist Mandate was clear and serves as the Agenda. You will be held responsible for Execution, planning, implementation, and Leadership.

Pull your head out of your ass.


Warmest Regards, Teethvillage

jH1212's picture

I think it is cute, you think we shall repay the debt. Denial is not a river, we stiffed France for the AmericanRevolution. Do you think american business will stand for spending their hard earn grift on others countries. Please remember where you are TODAY. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting against rising sea levels and climate change, and campaining for cigarette smoking around the world.

Unknown User's picture

And who had $20 trillion to lend us? That's right no one. We borrowed numbers in a computer and are stupid enough to repay "interest" in a form of work.

FreeShitter's picture

U still blaming the dems and or repubs for the country's demise?

Stan522's picture

No Moron....

I can't stand when you dem's bemoan republican debt and sit silent on democrat debt. It's called hypocritical.....

FreeShitter's picture

Who said I was affiliated to any party, dipshit? You still didnt even get the point of my question. Go back to sleep cuhzz

Stan522's picture

well puss head... I DID! You talk like a devilcRAT

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Subject is Debt Insanity: Does Anyone In Washington Even Care That We Are 20 Trillion Dollars In Debt?

My response: For the last 28 years no one has cared. The last 8 years under OBAMA debt doubled. WE ARE NOW AT THE POINT OF NO RETURN.

So ... PARTY NOW AND BE HAPPY. THE MATH NO LONGER WORKS, SO LET THE 'CB gods and government gods' keep piling it on.

Remember, for every 1 TRILLION, the DOW goes up a 1000 points. So let's encourage the corrupt elite to pile it on. I would like to see the DOW at 30,000, so another 10 trillion of debt is needed ASAP. 

Looking forward to more deficit spending!

Of course there is hope if you are a Christian. You might be RAPTURED OFF of the earth before the SHTF!


TeethVillage88s's picture

Debt Insanity: No one cares since we took the mantle of the British Empire, Central Bank, and World Reserve Currency... which we then turned into a common Fiat with no limits.

All Empires collapse. The Treasury was gone in Vietnam US War. Credit Cards came out. Petro Dollar with Military Power to support the WRC. Globalism completed under Bill Clinton. All nations now have central bank system of Europe, common type Fiat. Then the Commoditized US Housing and inflated the Prices and Property Taxes & all Utilities.

Economists agree USA needs 200K new jobs every month to keep up with population growth.

200K X 12 = 2.4 Million Annually
2017 - 2009 = 8 years since collapse
2017 - 1998 = 19 years since Money Multiplier decreased below 2.0
2.4 X 8 Years = 19.2 Million New Jobs Required since Obama
2.4 X 19 Years = 45.6 Million New Jobs Required since Multiplier Demise

We suffer for lack of 45 Million Jobs, but at least it has kept Inflation lower than it might be.

serotonindumptruck's picture

One of the best gauges for judging an individual's IQ, and to make the decision as to whether or not you want to keep debating them, is their disposition towards identity politics.

Left, Right, Red Team, Blue Team, Republican, Democrat

My daddy can beat up your daddy.

Hugh_Jass's picture

Actually, at this point, it doesn't really matter. The dollar is the cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry. What are you going to switch into? Yen, Euro, Wong, Venezuelan Bolivars?

Better buy some Bitcoins and keep stacking that gold and silver as well as loading up on some cheap rental properties in rural areas.

radio man's picture

Yo Honey, I can't be overdrawn cause I still have checks left.

meditate_vigorously's picture

So long as they can keep most of that 20T outta circulation, the show will go on.

Saratoga's picture

No, they make money out of thin air and charge interest.

sleigher's picture

Right, does it matter?  I mean they decided to use pieces of paper and let us exchange them for real goods and services.  I didn't make the rules I just live here.  Maybe we can get 200T in debt.  Or 2000 T in debt.  Maybe we should see how in debt we can get before everyone just starts laughing.

Offthebeach's picture

Savings, like savings accounts are dead.  Killed. Pensions are some dead, private, and some unions but soon all unions.  Already "investments" are squirrelly.  

To paraphrase the Kirk Douglas movie Spartacus,  ......"I'm  Venezuela!"

junction's picture

Anyone believing that $20 trillion is the total national debt will be in for a shock if the corrupt Comptroller of the Currency finally totals up all the outstanding liabilities America actually has.  The FDIC insured in 2011 $22 trillion of derivative debt that Bank of America acquired when it insanely acquired Merrill Lynch.  Those non-performing derivatives are worthless, paying no interest, a fact hidden by ZIRP. Where does the FDIC have the money to pay off this Bank of America insurance policy?  The FDIC doesn't, of course.  The U.S. Treasury under Bush and Obama has backstopped some $1 quadrillion in derivative debt based entirely on smoke, mirrors and death squads that rub out banksters whom the NSA wiretappers (who, like Snowden, worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, owned by the Carlyle Group hedge fund) found were NWO security risks.    

lester1's picture

The unaudited Federal Reserve buys the US Treasuries with electronic money printing. It's all a scam to keep the assets of the wealthy elites propped up while everyone else suffers.






Fed !

barysenter's picture

No, and it's going to take executions of many of their personal friends and family to get their attention.

CPL's picture

We call them 'accidents' not executions.  Example;

- "The political grease ball on the take just fell through triple pane enforced glass and left a note saying 'goodbye wurld'.  A terrible accident forsure."

- "The stock broker obviously tripped on his nail gun and impaled his entire head with 200 nails.  A tragic accident."


Bigly's picture

I am not a violent person at all. Zero.

But I really believe that many of these people will continue unabated and lawless until it literally hit smack dab at home in their face.

That would be very sad.  But i am looking at this factually and lay good odds on this type of thing if they all do not get enlightened soon.

Helix6's picture

Yes on continuing unabated and lawless -- it is always thus when money rules.  No on it literally hitting smack dab at home in their face -- the populace is far too fat and comfortable to even entertain the notion.  And no on them getting enlightened anytime soon -- they're much too fat and comfortable to even entertain the notion.  We're already a neo-Feudalistic society with bread and circuses for the totally dispossessed.  Eventually martial law will be declared and we'll pass from having the pretense of being a republic to whatever comes next -- dictatorship, dissolution, or annihilation. 

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

"Debt Insanity: Does Anyone In Washington Even Care That We Are 20 Trillion Dollars In Debt"


Well ~ Hank Johnson is 'worried' about islands tipping over, Maxine waters is 'worried' about Trump, Pelosi is 'worried' about Russian hackers, Boxer & Feinstein are 'worried' about Greater Israel, & Schumer is 'worried' about Greater Israel & how many donuts his daughter scarfs down every morning...


So cut them some slack... They seem to have a lot on their minds.

One of We's picture

If I owe you $100k I have a problem.  If I owe you $100 million you have a problem.  Owners of the Fed can go get fucked.....

aelfheld's picture

Does Anyone In Washington Even Care That We Are 20 Trillion Dollars In Debt?


From the evidence, no.

yogibear's picture

As long as the US dollar is the reserve fiat we can abuse all the rest of the countries. Give us your stuff and we will give you paper of debt.

serotonindumptruck's picture

It would seem as if all fiat currencies follow the same path to hyperinflation and collapse.

Venuzuela is the future of all Western nations.

piliage's picture

To quote Ross Perot, "The legislature trying to buy our vote, this year, with what used to be our money"

TeethVillage88s's picture

There is no evidence that 14 years of war has resulted in any kind of success with the US Military Strategy or what appears a US Nation Building Ruse.

We can cut 50% of MIC Budget and let the contractors compete on bids for the small contracts.

Now... how to solve the $20 Trillion?

- Invest in DB, CS, and Solar Energy (I heard it from LaGuarde & Yellen)