Total Government And Personal Debt In The U.S. Has Hit 41 Trillion Dollars ($329,961.34 Per Household)

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world.  In 1980, total government and personal debt in the United States was just over the 3 trillion dollar mark, but today it has surpassed 41 trillion dollars.  That means that it has increased by almost 14 times since Ronald Reagan was first elected president.  I am searching for words to describe how completely and utterly insane this is, but I am coming up empty.  We are slowly but surely committing national suicide, and yet most Americans don’t even understand what is happening.

According to 720 Global, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States was just over 3 trillion dollars in 1980.  That broke down to $38,552 per household, and that figure represented 79 percent of median household income at the time.

Today, total government debt plus total personal debt in the United States has blown past the 41 trillion dollar markWhen you break that down, it comes to $329,961.34 per household, and that figure represents 584 percent of median household income.

If anyone can make a good argument that we are not in very serious debt trouble, I would love to hear it.

And remember, the figures above don’t even include corporate debt.  They only include government debt on the federal, state and local levels, and all forms of personal debt.

So do you have $329,961.34 ready to pay your share of the debt that we have accumulated?

Nobody that I know could write that kind of a check.  The truth is that as a nation we are flat broke.  The only way that the game can keep going is for all of us to borrow increasingly larger sums of money, but of course that is not sustainable by any definition.

Eventually we are going to slam into a wall and the game will be over.

One of my pet peeves is the national debt Our politicians spend money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable, and yet no matter how much we complain about it nothing ever seems to change.

For example, the U.S. military actually spends 42 million dollars a year on Viagra.

Yes, you read that correctly.

42 million of your tax dollars are being spent on Viagra every year.

And overall spending on “erectile dysfunction medicines” each year comes to a grand total of 84 million dollars

According to data from the Defense Health Agency, DoD actually spent $41.6 million on Viagra — and $84.24 million total on erectile dysfunction prescriptions — last year.


And since 2011, the tab for drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra totals $294 million — the equivalent of nearly four U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Is this really where our spending on “national defense” should be going?  We are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, and yet we continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow.  For much more on the exploding size of our national debt and the very serious implications that this has for our future, please see my previous article entitled “Would You Like To Steal 128 Million Dollars?”

I didn’t think that our debt bubble could ever possibly get this big, but I didn’t think that our stock market bubble could ever possibly get quite get this large either.  For a few moments, I would like for you to consider a list of facts about this stock market bubble that was recently published by Zero Hedge

  • The S&P 500 Cyclically Adjusted Price to Earnings (CAPE) valuation has only been greater on one occasion, the late 1990s. It is currently on par with levels preceding the Great Depression.
  • CAPE valuation, when adjusted for the prevailing economic growth trend, is more overvalued than during the late 1920’s and the late 1990’s. (LINK)
  • S&P 500 Price to Sales Ratio is at an all-time high
  • Total domestic corporate profits (w/o IVA/CCAdj) have grown at an annualized rate of .097% over the last five years. Prior to this period and since 2000, five year annualized profit growth was 7.95%. (note- period included two recessions) (LINK)
  • Over the last ten years, S&P 500 corporations have returned more money to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends than they have earned.
  • The top 200 S&P 500 companies have pension shortfalls totaling $382 billion and corporations like GE spent more on share buybacks ($45b) than the size of their entire pension shortfall ($31b) which ranks as the largest in the S&P 500. (LINK)
  • Using data back to 1987, the yield to maturity on high-yield (non-investment grade) debt is in the 3rd percentile. Per Prudential as cited in the Wall Street Journal, yields on high-yield debt, adjusted for defaults, are now lower than those of investment grade bonds. Currently, the yield on the Barclays High Yield Index is below the expected default rate.
  • Implied equity and U.S. Treasury volatility has been trading at the lowest levels in over 30 years, highlighting historic investor complacency. (LINK)

Our financial markets are far more primed for a crash than they were in 2008.

The only times in our entire history that are even comparable are the late 1920s just before the infamous crash of 1929 and the late 1990s just before the dotcom bubble burst.

A whole lot of people out there seem to be entirely convinced that things will somehow be different this time.  They seem to believe that the laws of economics no longer apply and that we will never pay a significant price for decades of exceedingly foolish decisions.

Overall, the world is now 217 trillion dollars in debt.  Earlier this year, Bill Gross raised eyebrows when he said that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”, and I very much agree with him.

There is no way that this is going to end well.  Yes, central bank manipulation may be enough to keep the party going for a little while longer, but eventually the whole thing is going to come crashing down in a disaster of unprecedented magnitude.

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Grandad Grumps's picture

So, only half of it is the Federal government ... probably 25% state and local governments ... and the rest is personal pr coporate. It seems that the banks make out great, taking their annual cut on all of that debt. We don't need banks to create money from debt.

BaBaBouy's picture

USG Debt, So What...
Remember... It's only Keynesian Fiats Paper Money, UnBacked By GOLD...

Call me when we hit a QUADrillion, which is a 1000 Trillion $$$'s I think ...

(Bezos may have a Tenth Of It by then...)

svayambhu108's picture

I think there is more on the household,
10% working for the government + 1% percent would have none of this.


Déjà view's picture

Coming soon...FED Little Red Book handed out for each & every new loan taken out by debt slaves...

Karl Marx would have been proud...

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Since the DEBT discussion is coming up AGAIN, below is a little FACTOID that is adding to the PROBLEM.

If you take a look and the US DEBT CLOCK data and the rate of change of that data, one very quickly draws one conclusion: America's financial path is NOT sustainable for very much longer. Why? Below is just one reason that answers the question why.

US Federal Spending is rising at a staggering $428,253,120 per day

US Federal TAX Revenue is only rising at $129,857,760 per day.

So the US Government at the federal level is spending about $300,000,000 more per day than it is taking in via TAX revenue.

EXCUSE ME ... Say what????

This data is right off of the web page.

May America R.I.P.

Mr 9x19's picture

stop bullshiting with your clock you have money ctrl P, fuck off, move along, nohting to see


your 329.000... peanuts; raise to 1.000.000, at least.

Antifaschistische's picture

Optimism bias dominates Washington.  If an elected official was pessimistic before they went to Washington...the lavish livestyle they are gifted with soon gives them an optimism bias....due to this, they are incapable of seeing the debt problem, as a real problem.   Just wait until they try to 'fix it'.  That's when it will get really entertaining.

serotonindumptruck's picture

We'll likely hit 4 or 5 octillion before the reset.

Ye who hath such low faith in fractional reserve lending...

Cloud9.5's picture

I have fifty trillion sitting on my desk right now.  It’s a crisp almost new bank note backed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.   Hells bells, I’m a trillionaire.  You billionaires need to get to the back of the bus.

veritas semper vinces's picture

It's exceptional debt for the exceptional nation. Can get more exceptional, you say?

Sonny Brakes's picture

Keynes is famous for saying that in the end, we're all dead.

The_Dude's picture

Because he was a fag with no kids and therefore nothing vested in the future....funny...much like most of the EU leadership today.

That statement illicit that he either didn't think his theory through completely (i.e. Fuck it if I'm wrong, I'll be gone anyway!) or did know that it was flawed and this was his little hint that it was all shit...


Sonny Brakes's picture

As soon as he used the words, 'in the end we're all dead', they knew that they'd found their economic philosopher. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Mish keeps saying we're in for deflation forever. It's more likely to be deflation for a week and ashes after that.

Blue Balls's picture

Israel just got a boner.  

The central planners's picture

This is a distraction our real threat is RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA!!!

consider me gone's picture

What about the present value of Social Security and Medicare deficits? That's good for at least another $40 trillion. Probably higher.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Fuck YOUR imaginary Jew fraud debt. I DECLARE JUBILEE!


To the Jew that down voted me, you fucking pay it.

rf80412's picture

The primary purpose of the biblical jubilee was a hard reset of land ownership.  According to the Bible, each of the 12 tribes had been allotted a certain amount of Israel's land, in certain parts of the country, to be divided equally amongst their members.  Since it was inevitable that ownership would change over time, every 49 years - seven periods of seven years - all land in Israel would default back to the original allotments.

In modern terms, this would require not a cancellation of all outstanding debts, with people holding onto assets bought with borrowed money, but the immediate repayment of those debts in full and/or the forfeit of those assets.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Wrong. As children of God, we all have an equal claim of right to this Earth that he has provided us. All attempts at fraud and usury will be met with the sword.

rf80412's picture

Last time I checked, the Old Testament was either folk tales or concerned a specific group of people related by common descent from Abraham and living on a specific piece of land sitting between a river and a sea, not all humanity and the entire world.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Yeah, but those pussies don't have the stones to exercise the Sampson Option they keep harping about in their nasally long nose forked tongue so they forfeit.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

Dan didn't get his, though. Musical chairs, much?

Try playing musical chairs with 13 people and only one chair. Not only will there be no repayment, but the entities that will want to be paid will no longer exist. It will be a jubilee whether we want one or not.

rf80412's picture

As I recall, one of the tribes didn't get any land, but they were given charge of the temple and its services and sacrifices, and in exchange for this were supported by the other tribes.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

"Dan didn't get his, though."

When push came to shove, Dan took to the sea.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

I bet Dan became a badass pirate and took back what was rightfully his. If not, then it was never his.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Yes, that was the Pedophile Rabbi class that sacrificed children for blood and ate foreskins in their Matzo ball soup.

konadog's picture

You just might get your wish. Trial balloons about a coordinated central bank jubilee are being floated. That won't end well.

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

I have NO debt so I couldn't give a fuck either way.

Madcow's picture

will you take an IOU?

trailer park boys's picture

$329,961.34?!  -  I hate to be in debt. Who do I send the check to?

Stuck on Zero's picture

Make the check payable to: "Banker Billionaires Club." Send it to: NWO, WDC 20002.

markovchainey's picture

Yeah, and if I write a check can they leave me the fuck alone after that.  Done.  Finished.  Kaput.  Verklempt. Vernicht.  <whatever else Madeline says there>

"Baby please!  I'm not from Havana!"


Apocalicious's picture

We don't take checks, but you can go to Target and purchase pre-paid debit cards in $500 increments. Once you have done that, call me back at 765-4321, and give me the numbers and we will deposit them for you.



Got The Wrong No's picture

Send the check to...Got The Wrong No

                              10 Atlantic St

                              Cayman Island, 16911   

Thank You

veritas semper vinces's picture

You have to hurry bc tomorrow you'll have an extra 30,000

trailer park boys's picture

$329,961.34?!  -  I hate to be in debt. Who do I send the check to?


Can I charge it on my Amex? Think of all the points!

JLee2027's picture

And it's gone.

Or about to be. By hook or by crook. 

Slippery Slope's picture

Any financial implosion will mean the death of FIAT.

Unfortunately, it also means upheaval and war,

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Upheaval and civil war are exactly what we need.