The American Experiment Is Failing
What does history predict for our reckless course?
June 15, 2011 - 12:00 am
“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
– Abraham Lincoln, 1838
United States government debt now stands at $14.3 trillion, a sum nearly equal to our entire national gross domestic product (GDP). Sounds bad, right? Turns out, it’s worse. Much, much worse. According to a stunning new analysis by USA Today, the real total for America’s unfunded obligations is $61.6 trillion.
You see the government, unlike a business, is not required to count new liabilities when they are added to the books. Instead, “Congress postpones recording spending commitments until it writes a check.” This smokescreen allows the government to hide the true size of the hole we are in. “The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn’t take into account what’s owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees,” explains Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting.
Forget ObamaCare: Last year alone, Medicare added $1.8 trillion in new liabilities — Social Security, $1.4 trillion. These accumulating obligations swim just under the official numbers like giant, ravenous sharks.
And they’re just as dangerous. The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 owed per household, “more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt.” It is also rapidly approaching the GDP of the entire planet,($63.17 trillion, 2010 estimated). It goes without saying that we will never be able to pay such impossible sums.
Is it any wonder that captains of industry and finance are warning of very dark times ahead? Jim Rogers, chief executive of Rogers Holdings, recently told CNBC:
In the last three years the government has spent staggering amounts of money and the Federal Reserve is taking on staggering amounts of debt. When the problems arise next time…what are they going to do? They can’t quadruple the debt again. They cannot print that much more money. It’s gonna be worse the next time around.
Abraham Lincoln was right — no foreign army could ever conquer the United States. But we are literally spending ourselves to death.
We are authoring, right now, our national demise; soon, perhaps very soon, our civilization will begin to disintegrate, as civilizations always do when burdened by such fantastical obligations: See the Roman, Spanish, Ottoman, British, and Soviet empires, for starters.
Let me tell you how it will unfold.