Every day the news cycle is dominated by the presidential campaign reality show with its colorful characters and various subplots of scandal, corruption, “pay for play,” Russian hacking, and the anticipation of surprises yet to come. Sadly, the entertainment value of both campaigns masks the general disgust and angst felt by a majority of voters toward the two major party candidates.
Meanwhile, quietly ticking away and garnering no attention is an economic time bomb displayed on the U.S. Debt Clock. All the swiftly moving digits document data representing inevitable national decline. A crisis is at hand, but no presidential campaign ads will dare address this red-hot issue.
Furthermore, most Americans have never seen the U.S. Debt Clock, a treasure trove of depressing data, so by introducing it I am providing a public service.
A close examination of all the Debt Clock data, even comparing past years to now, tells a more complete story of Obama’s presidency and the truth behind his destructive legacy. Ironically, Hillary Clinton running for Obama’s “third term” ignores economic truth as she vows to “faithfully continue the legacy of President Barack Obama.”
Tick, tick, goes the time bomb of $19.4 trillion in U.S. national debt. But those trillions are a fine example of the federal government’s accounting deception. In addition to the $19.4 trillion, the total amount owed must include $103 trillion in “unfunded liabilities.” Then in 2020 that $103 trillion will increase to $124 trillion. For clarity, let’s define both debt terms.
First, the $19.4 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury:
The national public debt outstanding represents the face amount or principal amount of marketable and non-marketable securities currently outstanding.
Simply stated, if the U.S. government received a monthly credit card bill, the amount due would be $19.4 trillion.
Second, the $103 trillion in unfunded liabilities defined by the U.S. Treasury, “includes Social Security, (Medicare Part A, B, and D) federal debt held by the public, plus federal employee and veteran benefits.”
The real explanation is that these are federal programs the government is obligated to pay but does not have the funds to cover. Thus the term “unfunded.”
No nation or empire in the history of the world has ever accumulated or been obligated to pay this much debt. Even $1 trillion is beyond normal comprehension.
For example, it is calculated that if you spent $1 million every day from the time Jesus Christ was born until now, you still would not have spent $1 trillion. Moreover, $1 trillion is a million millions, which is precisely why it is difficult to conceptualize that our government owes more than 103 times that much. However, when you occasionally hear about the national debt (mostly on TV ads promoting the sale of gold and silver) it usually refers to the more “manageable” current balance due of $19.4 trillion.
Which brings us back to Obama’s legacy.
As he winds up his eight years, leaving us drowning in a sea of red ink, it is instructive to return to July 3, 2008, when “hope and change” permeated the atmosphere. Captured on this video is Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama admonishing President George W. Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt. This was an increase from the $5 trillion Bush inherited, totaling over $9 trillion by mid-2008.
Try not to laugh out loud when you hear Obama calling President Bush “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for increasing the debt burden on “every man, woman and child.”
Eight years later, if Obama applied those same standards to himself, he should be convicted of treason because when he took office Jan. 20, 2009, the national debt stood at $10.5 trillion. Today, as previously mentioned it is $19.4 trillion, an increase of close to $9 trillion – and nearly doubling under Obama!
So where is the public outrage against mortgaging our future? Moreover, Clinton’s policy proposals to spend, spend, spend for new government programs and giveaways will not only increase the national debt but accelerate the pace set by Obama.
The national debt and its more deadly sister, unfunded liabilities, are problems Democrats dare not raise. Do they think that our nation can continue on the same destructive path without severe and inevitable fiscal consequences? And what exactly are those consequences?
First, the interest on the debt is gobbling up a higher percentage of the federal budget every year (currently at 6%, or $251.8 billion, according to the Debt Clock). That translates into hundreds of billions the government cannot spend to improve the national good or protect us from our enemies. Worse, interest payments rose from $223 billion in 2015 to $251.8 billion in 2016, an increase of $28.8 billion in one year!
Second, there is no way to sugarcoat the warnings in the following three selected summary statements from a July 12, 2016, Congressional Budget Office report. (The CBO bills itself as “non-partisan analysis for the U.S. Congress.”)
- If current laws remained generally unchanged, the United States would face steadily increasing federal budget deficits and debt over the next 30 years – reaching the highest level of debt relative to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ever experienced in this country.
- The prospect of such large debt poses substantial risks for the nation and presents policymakers with significant challenges.
- In CBO’s projections, deficits rise during the next three decades because the government’s spending grows more quickly than its revenues do. In particular, spending grows for Social Security, the major health care programs (primarily Medicare), and interest on the government’s debt.
When the CBO speaks of “significant challenges” it means that our elected leaders, starting with the president, must level with the American people about the need to radically change the programs mentioned above. Of course, that will not be easy, but taking no action is no longer an option.
Under Obama’s reckless policies, the national debt will have increased from $10.5 trillion to $20 trillion by the time he leaves office. History will record that Obama’s real legacy is how he not only doubled the national debt that he inherited from George W. Bush, but will leave the nation with more debt than did all previous U.S. presidents combined. That accomplishment is worthy of a large, ornate red room in his presidential library.
Finally, do American voters truly understand how dangerous and fiscally irresponsible President Hillary Clinton could be by faithfully vowing to “continue Obama’s legacy”?
That question will be answered by the accelerated ticking of the Debt Clock time bomb.
Cross-posted at WND