Just about everyone I know believes in the permanence of the Dollar, the Eternal Supremacy of the United States, and the propaganda to constantly grow their money by taking risks. So they dutifully feed hard-earned wages into the voracious slot machine of Wall Street, despite the rot of the system revealed after the financial meltdown and the continuing fraud and corruption afterwards, as if nothing had happened.
Meanwhile, imaginary digits of currency propagate and grow heavy in computer systems, compressing into a digital critical mass ready to explode. Although the $18.77 Trillion of “Official” United States Treasury National Debt seems huge, it’s a dust mote in the eye of Unfunded Liabilities:
$100.4 trillion (US unfunded liabilities (GAAP)), $840,063 liability per taxpayer
$66 trillion (U.S. total debt) USDebtClock.org. Total Debt per US citizen: $205,228
$205,000,000,000,000 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS). Debt per citizen: $644,785.
$53,761 personal debt per citizen ($940 billion credit card, $1.3 trillion student loan debt, $13.76 trillion mortgage)
$492.3 trillion in currency and credit derivatives (2015)
$6.7 trillion: U.S. debt held by other countries
Professor of Economics Laurence Kitlikoff at Boston University, and author of The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know About America’s Future, said the CBO figure of $205 trillion is more realistic, because it includes government commitments and obligations that aren’t counted as debt, but should be, “such as paying for your social security benefits, mine, or your mother’s Medicare benefits, defense spending, etc. All of these things are obligations that aren’t recorded on the books as debt, whereas paying off future principal and interest payments on Treasury bills and bonds are recorded. If you take the value of all of those commitments and subtract all the taxes coming to pay those commitments, the difference is what’s called the fiscal gap; and that fiscal gap in the U.S. is now $205 trillion. Most of the problems we’re facing and most of the debt we have is off the books and Congress has done bookkeeping to make sure the public doesn’t see it”.
When asked why this wasn’t well known, Kotlikoff replied “The Clinton administration put out the fiscal gap studies for a couple of years and then the Clinton administration censored it. President Bush’s Treasury Secretary O’Neil wanted us to do a fiscal gap accounting for the President’s budget in 2003 but was fired December 7, 2002, and that study was censored two days after he was fired. So, this is not accidental. This is more or less a conspiracy to hide the truth to keep ourselves and our kids in the dark about what the politicians are really doing, which is trying to garner the votes of older people and then get reelected and leave a bigger mess for our kids to handle.”
Kitlikoff argues this can’t go on. There are 4 payees for every beneficiary now. By 2030 there’ll be 2 payees for every beneficiary. That’s obviously not sustainable.
There are so many other debts as well: Personal $16,500,000,000,000 Mortgage $13,300,000,000,000 Student Loans $1,150,000,000,000 and Credit Cards $850,000,000,000.
State level debt. California alone has $354,500,000,000 in unfunded retirement benefits and $132,000,000,000 in other debt.
Plus, if we want to keep civilization in the United States going, there’s $3,600,000,000,000 of maintenance needed on our infrastructure by 2020 according the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card.
If you have been brainwashed by libertarianism, capitalism, by classical economics and business “news”, then there’s no need to worry. Every political party, whether Democrat, Republican, or Tea, agrees we can grow our way out of the problem and reduce the dizzying digits of debt.
But if you are both [systems] ecologically and energy literate, it’s hard to understand how anyone could think money, rather than energy, was the engine of growth.
Civilization as we know it, and recent Globalization, happened because oil-fueled container ships carry 90% of all cargo and oil-fueled trucks and trains deliver containers to stores where oil-fueled cars pick the goods up.
Yet so many, even scientists who should know better, collectively hallucinate electric schemes to keep the dream going, as if feeble and intermittent wind and sun or fusion and fission fantasies could crush rocks into concrete, forge steel, smelt iron ore, power thousand foot long ships across the ocean, and keep the growing digits of debt from overwhelming the future.
When the oil crunch hits, the digits will explode, and all of us will say goodbye to more and more of our beloved energy slaves every day, until 90% of survivors till the earth again.