What specific actions will you take, and what will you ask the American people to do to fix the growing debt of the United States?
In terms everyone can understand, here’s what you need to know about the Federal Debt and why it’s our responsibility to control it now:
Polling consistently shows that a majority of Americans understand and believe we need to reduce deficits and the debt. There are different ideas for how to do this, but most people clearly do not want to pass on huge debts to the next generation.
The Deficit and the Debt Explained
Nearly every year for many decades now the U.S. government has spent more money than it has taken in through taxes and other sources. The annual Deficit is the difference between what comes in and what is spent in any given year. The Deficit peaked at 1.4 trillion dollars in 2009. It is projected to be below 500 billion for 2015, but that still adds to the overall debt. The chart below shows the annual federal deficits for the past fifteen years. All those red lines in the chart, year after year after year, add up to increasing total debt. What is worse, while the size of the year to year increase has been going down for the past several years, it is soon projected to increase substantially to more than a trillion dollars per year again.
The Debt Right Now
Year after year the annual deficits add up to produce the total federal Debt, which is the total amount the federal government owes. At present, the total debt, including intergovernmental debt, equals, nearly $19,000,000,000,000 dollars (that’s 19 trillion dollars).
The Debt Burden Per Person and Per Taxpayer and Per Child
Another way to understand the size of the debt is to see how much ever person or every taxpayer or every person under 18 would have to pay to completely pay down the debt. On a per person basis for the whole population, the amount is nearly $60,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. On a per taxpayer basis the number is even higher, exceeding $160,000. For the next generation, the debt burden for every person under the age of 18 is extraordinary - now more than $257,000 per child, none of whom has ever had a chance to vote.
The Fiscal Deficit Is Not the Only Deficit that Matters
Along with the growing financial deficits the nation also has a growing backlog of needed infrastructure investments. Best estimates suggest this unmet need between now and 2020 is $3.6 trillion. This is the money that would be needed, but is not currently available, just to maintain and keep up with increasing demand for things like roads, schools, water, waste treatment, rail, aviation, inland waterways, energy and other basic needs.
The Debt Relative to the Economy
Comparison to the Gross Domestic Product
Another measure of the size of the current debt is how it compares to the total annual economic activity of the United States. As the chart below shows, the Debt relative to GDP is now at levels not seen since the years of World War II and just after.
The Costs of Maintaining the Debt
Interest payments on the debt will soon become the fastest growing part of federal spending, and are expected to reach more than $300 billion annually by the year 2017. Without changes in policy, by the year 2030 annual interest payments on the debt will exceed $850 Billion, meaning that all federal spending would go just to paying interest on the debt and maintaining Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – leaving nothing for defense, transportation, education, medical research or other so called discretionary spending.
Our goal is to mobilize Americans of all ages to ask these 3 simple questions and expect real answers from every single candidate seeking their vote. Our plan is to show candidates and politicians the breadth and depth of support for the 3 American Questions.
In the coming election and going forward, I will only support, contribute to, or vote for candidates and political parties who take seriously and offer real, honest and practical answers to the 3 American Questions. Together, we must solve climate change, the Federal Debt, and restore public confidence in our government. The time is now for all of us to take action - it is our future, our legacy, and our responsibility.