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U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 19 Aug 2008 at 05:38:23 PM GMT is:

$9' date='614,082,810,187.18

The estimated population of the United States is 304,570,924

so each citizen's share of this debt is $31,565.99.

 

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of

$1.86 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

Concerned? Then tell Congress and the White House! [/quote']

 

 

U.S. National Debt Clock

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Make you kind of sick don't it! :phones:

 

Yes, but I also have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my grandparents and their parents sold our our future. Social security and Medicare are nothing more than pyramid schemes and my generation is the one that I think will pay the most into the system with out actually getting anything out of it.

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Nitack

Social security and Medicare are nothing more than pyramid schemes and my generation is the one that I think will pay the most into the system with out actually getting anything out of it.

My thoughts too' date=' I'm 51 now and don't look for much SS when I retire.

 

Nitack

I wonder if I could prepay my share of the national debt today, at today's rate, and be exempt from paying it in the future...

or overpay and live off of the intrest. :phones:

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My thoughts too, I'm 51 now and don't look for much SS when I retire.

:evil: HAH!:lol::bow: I am 28, and know how Washington works. This system has at least another two decades of life as they jack up taxes to try to keep it afloat and then finally realize there is no way to keep it going.

 

or overpay and live off of the intrest. :hihi:

 

I already overpay considering my expected return on investment :rant::phones::D:phones::hihi:

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When looking at the debt of the United States, or of an individual or corporation, it’s revealing to ask where its cost (the interest, or service) is going.

 

Though complicated in detail, the simple answer is that the debt is going to individuals, corporations, and governments who have money to lend. In the case of the US debt, about 60% of these people are, directly or indirectly, US citizens (If you wade through the treasury bulletin, you’ll discover that the majority of the “intra-department” the US “owes itself” is used to fund federal employee retirement and benefits). If you’re a US resident and have some sort of private retirement account, savings in a managed account, etc, some of the US national debt is being paid to you.

 

Though a lot is made of US debt held by foreign investors, this is something of a nationalistic scare tactic. Only about 25% of the national debt is owed to non-US investors. Though this has grown slightly – from about 19% in 2000, a period during which the total debt increased by about 45% – the intuitive notion that, being a country, the US must owe its debt to another country, is wrong. (source: http://web.archive.org/web/20070307142607/http://www.fms.treas.gov/bulletin/b2006-4ofs.doc)

 

This said, I think the US debt is a very bad thing, because it’s in effect a financial instrument for transferring money from people who do not have money to invest to those who do. That a lot of those who have investments are “hard-working middle class Americans” does not, IMHO, negate its badness. That I, personally – without any intention of being or expertise as a professional investor, solely due to the policies of my long-time employers – am benefiting from it, doesn’t, either.

 

It’s important to understand that “wiping out the national debt” means, for the most part, wiping out the expected future wealth of a substantial fraction of all US citizens, many of them very rich citizens. Historically, taking from the rich is rare. So I’m skeptical that it will happen, or if it does, that it will happen in fewer than a few decades – barring some sort of 1917 Russia-type American popular uprising, which seem to me very unlikely.

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So I’m skeptical that it will happen, or if it does, that it will happen in fewer than a few decades – barring some sort of 1917 Russia-type American popular uprising, which seem to me very unlikely.

 

We already have that happening. It is just that this time we used a democratically elected government and enacted programs called Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to redistribute the wealth. :hal_skeleton:

 

I think you undervalue the importance of the 25% of US debt to foreign sources. I am not a xenophobe, my fear is entirely based on what that debt is an indication of. 25% of the US budget has been money that we could not afford to spend based on our own assets. Borrowing from US citizens means that at least we had the capital in this country to account for the needed funds. Borrowing from abroad means that we did not have the capital (or the willingness to reinvest in our own country) to meet our needs.

 

My biggest problem is that we would call any business that ran this way a failure. This is financially impractical way to run any organization. The government takes a loss every year of over $500 billion. Rather than figure out that they need to find a way to balance the books our "leaders" simply write an I.O.U. to the country or creditors and go on that way year after year. The problem is that there is no way for anyone to call in that debt. The people writing the I.O.U.s also are the ones that decide when it can be called in. I can't say "You borrowed money from the social security trust fund, which I own a part of, I want to cash in my investment."

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A government should be run like a business, or else it eventually fails. Our government is run like a giant welfare system or a series of fiefdoms with very little accountability and shortfalls paid for by increasing taxes.

This may be of interest...

 

[edit] Total spending

Further information: Government spending

 

A pie chart representing spending by category for the US budget for 2008The President's budget for 2008 totals $2.9 trillion. Percentages in parentheses indicate percentage change compared to 2007. This budget request is broken down by the following expenditures:

 

Mandatory spending: $1.788 trillion (+4.2%)

$608 billion (+4.5%) - Social Security

$386 billion (+5.2%) - Medicare

$209 billion (+5.6%) - Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

$324 billion (+1.8%) - Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending

$261 billion (+9.2%) - Interest on National Debt

Discretionary spending: $1.114 trillion (+3.1%)

$481.4 billion (+12.1%) - United States Department of Defense

$145.2 billion (+45.8%) - Global War on Terror

$69.3 billion (+0.3%) - Health and Human Services

$56.0 billion (+0.0%) - United States Department of Education

$39.4 billion (+18.7%) - United States Department of Veterans Affairs

$35.2 billion (+1.4%) - US Department of Housing and Urban Development

$35.0 billion (+22.0%) - State and Other International Programs

$34.3 billion (+7.2%) - Department of Homeland Security

$24.3 billion (+6.6%) - Energy

$20.2 billion (+4.1%) - Department of Justice

$20.2 billion (+3.1%) - Department of Agriculture

$17.3 billion (+6.8%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

$12.1 billion (+13.1%) - Department of Transportation

$12.1 billion (+6.1%) - Department of Treasury

$10.6 billion (+2.9%) - United States Department of the Interior

$10.6 billion (-9.4%) - United States Department of Labor

$51.8 billion (+9.7%) - Other On-budget Discretionary Spending

$39.0 billion - Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending

The Iraq war and the Afghanistan war are not part of the defense budget; they are appropriations.

 

United States federal budget, 2008 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Well talking about the budget is a no win situation,

As a whole you can say that is too much but if you brake it down and look at one item at a time like,

$608 billion (+4.5%) - Social Security

is it too much or not enough? you'll think not enough if your about to retire.

 

I think we can cut the budget without hurting the people it was designed to serve, It's not going to be easy but it needs to be done.

 

(although it is easier when the economy is in better standing.)

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It’s important to understand that “wiping out the national debt” means, for the most part, wiping out the expected future wealth of a substantial fraction of all US citizens, many of them very rich citizens. Historically, taking from the rich is rare. So I’m skeptical that it will happen, or if it does, that it will happen in fewer than a few decades – barring some sort of 1917 Russia-type American popular uprising, which seem to me very unlikely.
We already have that happening. It is just that this time we used a democratically elected government and enacted programs called Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in order to redistribute the wealth. :coffee_n_pc:
Wink (:turtle:) noted, but other than jokingly, I don’t think many parallels can be drawn between the 1917 Russian revolution and the 1935 US Social Security Act and 1965 Medicare program. About the only one I can find is that both were to some extent reactions to widespread and growing poverty.

 

The Russian revolution was a true state seizure of private property, effectively all of it from a small population of very rich Russians, while Social Security (OASDI) and Medicare (HI/DI) were, and still are, simple regressive (being single rated and capped, high-income people pay a smaller percentage of their income) taxes, enacted under the same authority as the federal income tax, the 16th Amendment ratified 1913.

 

Because Social Security and Medicare taxes are flat rated (currently 7.65 OASDI and 2.35% HI+DI) capped (currently $102,000 OASDI max – HI has not been capped since 1993, when the OASDI and HI maxes were 57,600 and 135,000), and because OASDI benefits are based on lifetime taxable wages, they’re a poor means of redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. (Source: http://www.rrb.gov/pdf/act/TAXRATE.pdf)

 

OASDI is more accurately described as “taking from everybody now, and giving to everybody later”.

 

I think that many people fail to note that, for most of its history, Social Security (and to a lesser extent Medicare) have receipts have greatly exceeded expenditures – in short, it has been a big money maker for the US government, reducing the national debt. Were it not for the Social Security tax, the US would not only have gone more deeply in debt due to the huge expense of WW II and the subsequent “cold war” that it did. Even so, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the years 1944-1946 resulted in the greatest increases of the national debt to date, as shown in this table:

Increase in 2000$  Year  Debt in 2000 $  %Increase
 605995716796.98  1944   1966635413606.74   0.445
 595538773557.42  1943   1360639696809.76   0.778
 508090845948.26  1945   2474726259555.00   0.258
 386561732941.84  2003   6348219505458.97   0.065
 378476494054.43  2004   6726695999513.40   0.060
 374147496309.96  1991   4634105999722.68   0.088
 358091917333.77  1985   3114229984706.24   0.130
 354687135564.77  1992   4988793135287.45   0.077
 317153284239.94  1984   2756138067372.47   0.130
 314875166188.22  2002   5961657772517.13   0.056
 308164562160.29  2006   7302596737013.27   0.044
 302860735464.14  1983   2438984783132.53   0.142
 291816476442.91  1990   4259958503412.72   0.074
 268358322682.11  1993   5257151457969.56   0.054
 267736175339.58  2005   6994432174852.98   0.040
 225362568780.80  1988   3788018208059.91   0.063
 224977228693.21  1986   3339207213399.45   0.072
 223448425879.66  1987   3562655639279.11   0.067
 195557951641.06  1994   5452709409610.62   0.037
 191552584691.17  1942    765100923252.34   0.334
 187310694533.08  1982   2136124047668.39   0.096
 180123818909.90  1989   3968142026969.81   0.048
 167499615994.08  1995   5620209025604.70   0.031
 132155216880.85  1976   1977860752196.84   0.072
 124875657019.84  1975   1845705535315.99   0.073
 114095905683.84  1996   5734304931288.54   0.020
 106234444457.17  1919    272643066675.10   0.638
  89486743926.26  1918    166408622217.93   1.163
  76200853267.46  1971   1803342016037.12   0.044
  73444247294.77  1997   5807749178583.31   0.013
  68404440525.52  1954   1784413309969.78   0.040
  65076287407.12  1977   2042937039603.96   0.033
  57713755866.07  1936    418465121555.42   0.160
  54597985300.67  1932    244938819042.28   0.287
  53611905177.55  1933    298550724219.83   0.219
  49102331867.74  1934    347653056087.57   0.164
  47594036252.16  1972   1850936052289.28   0.026
  47100435535.32  1939    500984710877.20   0.104
  45047706797.71  1941    573548338561.17   0.085
  41440957328.56  1978   2084377996932.52   0.020
  35016411309.63  1959   1720803308927.01   0.021
  32314085034.79  1953   1716008869444.26   0.019
  30351656583.38  1998   5838100835166.69   0.005
  27515920886.26  1940    528500631763.46   0.055
  26704332689.81  1967   1776975158027.54   0.015
  26182219408.96  1949   1828867897812.98   0.015
  25273838719.74  1964   1766108045229.19   0.015
  24688042314.36  1962   1730382379478.55   0.014
  23447998234.29  1931    190340833741.61   0.140
  19902441416.08  1917     76921878291.67   0.349
  19629408654.81  1955   1804042718624.59   0.011
  18306602793.25  1938    453884275341.88   0.042
  17338405251.44  1961   1705694337164.19   0.010
  17112550993.21  1937    435577672548.63   0.041
  13098309601.78  1935    360751365689.35   0.038
  10451827030.90  1963   1740834206509.45   0.006
  10009117740.92  1950   1838877015553.90   0.005
   8296819444.22  1999   5846397654610.91   0.001
   7215103703.15  1921    230665753360.19   0.032
   4879717117.36  1916     57019436875.59   0.094
   4855076436.28  1981   1948813353135.31   0.002
   4708909149.99  1922    235374662510.18   0.020
   2950328864.85  1908     45690509086.79   0.069
   2087728839.85  1907     42740180221.94   0.051
   1986482343.29  1915     52139719758.23   0.040
   1964380521.37  1911     48104689340.61   0.043
   1787631985.69  1912     49892321326.30   0.037
   1181970398.09  1958   1685786897617.38   0.001
   1087934817.12  1906     40652451382.09   0.027
   1070402214.11  1904     39379941147.59   0.028
    831970202.21  1913     50724291528.51   0.017
    762799662.54  1903     38309538933.48   0.020
    265840481.46  1902     37546739270.94   0.007
    228201475.09  1910     46140308819.24   0.005
    221598257.36  1909     45912107344.15   0.005
    184575417.38  1905     39564516564.97   0.005
   -571054113.57  1914     50153237414.94  -0.011
   -609384696.54  1970   1727141162769.66  -0.000
  -3606195893.97  1930    166892835507.32  -0.021
  -4004976225.42  1966   1750270825337.73  -0.002
  -5350754995.90  1968   1771624403031.64  -0.003
  -5925723452.59  1928    177278321010.89  -0.032
  -6660000495.57  1952   1683694784409.47  -0.004
  -6779289609.60  1929    170499031401.29  -0.038
  -7901144772.44  1927    183204044463.48  -0.041
 -10309188339.71  1923    225065474170.47  -0.044
 -10774158621.02  1926    191105189235.92  -0.053
 -11066059153.50  1924    213999415016.97  -0.049
 -11832243666.04  1965   1754275801563.15  -0.007
 -12120067160.03  1925    201879347856.94  -0.057
 -27395603557.95  2001   5646782606328.91  -0.005
 -28493655637.94  1973   1822442396651.34  -0.015
 -32447377014.26  1960   1688355931912.75  -0.019
 -43873855565.44  1969   1727750547466.20  -0.025
 -49192417018.06  1920    223450649657.04  -0.180
 -52746383296.28  1956   1751296335328.31  -0.029
 -60573062143.95  1980   1943958276699.03  -0.030
 -66691408109.02  1957   1684604927219.29  -0.038
 -79846658089.54  1979   2004531338842.98  -0.038
 -95521876086.52  1946   2379204383468.48  -0.039
-101612518355.19  1974   1720829878296.15  -0.056
-148522230648.86  1951   1690354784905.04  -0.081
-172219444724.05  2000   5674178209886.86  -0.029
-191794822551.72  1948   1802685678404.02  -0.096
-384723882512.74  1947   1994480500955.74  -0.162 

(sources: see National debt statistics & presidential "awards"

 

 

Even now that expenditures for Social Security and Medicare exceed receipts, the deficit is fairly small - for the FY 2008 US budget:

$927.2 billion receipts

-$994 billion expenditures

= -$66.8 billion deficit, about 7% of expenditure, 28% of the total US deficit.

 

IMHO, changes to the purchasing and price negotiation rules for the roughly $40 billion/year Medicare Part D program implemented 2006 could reduce Medicare expenditures by about $20 billion/year.

 

So, the opposite of being a major increaser of the national debt, Social Security has been reducer of it.

 

Another thing to keep in mind when considering proposals to reduce or end Social Security expenditures is the unlikelihood that, if this were done, receipts (taxes) could continue. So, in reducing the deficit by 28%, total tax receipts would be reduced by about 35%, and the deficit as a percentage of the federal budget would increase from about 9% to about 10%.

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So, the opposite of being a major increaser of the national debt, Social Security has been reducer of it.

 

Actually, you are slightly mistaken here. The US government does not get supplemented from Social Security. The way it is set up they "borrow" from the social security receipts. It is the way that politicians morally justify taking money from funds that were collected with the express intention of "supporting our senior citizens". Every dollar that has been borrowed from social security is expected to be repaid.

 

Social_Security_debate_(United_States)#Current_projections

the federal government's general fund, which for decades has been borrowing the Trust Fund's surplus and applying it to its expenses to partially satisfy budget deficits. To finance such a projected call on the general fund, some combination of increasing taxes, cutting other government programs, selling government assets, or borrowing would be required.

 

The way it works is that all excess money paid into Social Security is used by the government and the Social Security Trust Fund is issued a government security for the money, basically an I.O.U. There is no bank account where the money is sitting, the government has used the excess funds and promised a 5% return on the money. Guess how much the government has "borrowed"? $2.2 TRILLION :eek::doh::):coffee_n_pc::turtle: This is all counted in our "national debt". Of our national debt, 23% is what the government owes to Social Security. Social Security has not decreased our national debt, it has simply been used to shored up overspending by our government.

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