The real national debt is far worse than you think, critics say

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  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Sunday Buffet the investor said on his talk show that 16 trillion is better shape than USA was after the second world war.

    Our nation generates a GDP of $50,000 for every man woman and child.

    At 70-100 trillion the same cannot be said.

    We the people are living beyond our means

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    I asked a friend about this cash accounting stuff yesterday at church. He works for a big accounting firm and has been with them for ten + years.
    He said, "I don't know. There is special training for accountants who do government work. I haven't been involved in that since I took my exams."
    He wasn't a bit surprised or worried.
    Frankly, that worries me.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Politicians have long pursued mild inflation as national monetary policy. The objective? Inflate the debt away.

    Inflation reduces of the value of money. It is why bread is $5.00 a loaf instead of $0.50. It is why a new Mustang in 1965 could be bought for about $2000. Now a new Mustang (base model) is just over $20,000. It is why an entry level home built in the 60's is worth ten times what it went for back then.

    Inflation makes incurred old debt worth less and less and less.

    That's how politicians believe the debt will vanish. Shrink it with the genie of inflation. But once out of the bottle, the genie of inflation is called upon bring us ever more benefits until the resulting inflation grows so large that business cannot be conducted and the economy collapses.

    But out of that collapse, a new economy will rise. It always does. If we are wise, we will prepare for it by leaving Babylon a little before the airport closes. We can do that by beginning now to love God more than money. And loving our neighbors more than money. And loving our families more than money.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    About time the media starts reporting this.

    The real story is the "make believe" world politicians have sold to our ignorant society. I have been auditing both private and governmental entities for over a decade. The fact the debt is really closer to 70 trillion is well known by those with a financial background.

    Social security is a Ponzi scheme of enormous proportions and would be against the law if ran by a private company or individual. A person pays in 100k over his life, then receives a "return" of 400k later. This system would go broke unless you keep adding people to the scheme who will get their "return" later as you add more people and pretend this is a "return", when it really is someone else's "principal". The only investment this "fund" invests in is its own issued securities. - treasury notes and bonds. (I.e. the federal govt is loaning itself money from our social security funds.

    Despicable, irresponsible and really quite stupid. ...and there are even deniers... More ridiculous than flat-earthers, Birthers, and those who deny climate change.

  • If There is Anything Virtuous Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    While some would like to turn this into a partisan issue, the hard truth is that both parties have contributed to this enormous, enormous problem--even our beloved Reagan helped.

    However, what makes this even worse is a president who has said, and this is a quote, "We don't have a spending problem." What kind of person doesn't understand debt and its consequences?

    Thank you, Mr. Schultzke, for a great article. My main issue with your editors is this--why wasn't this a headline in a Sunday paper instead of being (almost) buried in a Saturday edition? (At least it was on the front page.) The entire nation needs to understand how serious this is and start preparing at the individual/family level for a major economic crisis.

    PS For a Certified Public Accountant's take, check out the AICPA's official website.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    Regan tripled the national debt.

    Bush Doubled the national debt.

    Obama...has done neither to date.

    If you are ignoring these facts, you are only lying to yourself.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 20, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    But you won't pay the debts, made sure Romney ran on never cutting medicare, You won't cut the military and you would cry if Obama ever cut your SS check.

    Buy more guns is your answer to everything.

  • statman Lehi, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 11:49 p.m.

    Sad thing is, your average American has no concept - none at all - what $80 trillion means. It means that every man, woman and child in the US owes about one quarter of a million dollars in benefits that the government has spent or promised but has no way of paying. That's a million dollars per household of four. And that doesn't count what the states and cities owe.

    How does your average household pay off a million dollar debt? The US government can't either...

  • Wyomex Burlington, WY
    Jan. 19, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    If our outgo exceeds our income, then our upkeep will prove our downfall.

    Debt is abuse. Debt usurps our future. Debt is despotism.

    "... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security..." US Declaration of Independence.

    Tough words by brave patriots. Do we hear them anymore?

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    The community organizer has everything under control so why worry?

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    The unfunded liabilities are like a black hole. It will suck everything we have or ever will have into it. The amount has been estimated between $80 trillion and $222 trillion. The amount is basically incomprehensible and cannot be payed. Bottom line: default is inevitable.

  • josephscott Sandy, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    If you would like to consider a list of Presidents who have increased the total federal debt it is actually fairly easy. The last time the total federal debt went down instead of up was 1957, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. Every President since then has seen the total federal debt go up instead of down.

    I compiled a list of every year (and President) in U.S. history that the total federal debt went down. I attempted to link to that list, but comment moderation didn't approve it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    It's silly to project out debt based on planned expenses and zero revenue.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Jan. 19, 2013 2:23 p.m.


    Bush and Chenney are responsible for medicare and social security? Give me a break. All are responsible, especially congress who is suppose to BUDGET and spend the money. The federal government is too big!

  • teleste Austin, TX
    Jan. 19, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    @Ernet T. Bass

    Who ever denies that?

    The point is that O has taken something bad, and made it *much worse*.

    Do you believe O should have a free ride because of other bad policies in the past?

    If you're being objective you sure won't!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Before we get a bunch of posters putting this entirely on President Obama, if you are being objective you have to admit that bush/cheney and their taxing & spending policies are responsible for a large portion of this debt.