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American Debt Can Impair American Freedoms

Updated on April 20, 2015

Remember all the talk about the debt ceiling? Is it passe? Absolutely not, it is just as important today as it was yesterday. The responsibility of the global citizen should be to live within our means. The purpose? For our legacy. We have a responsibility to our children and our grandchildren to leave a legacy of reasonable debt. The gluttonous ways of our past must be recognized and corrected. Yet, today's debt is not the debt of our forefathers. Stay tuned and learn how this debt is different in America in the 21st century.

Like many of you, my grandson wears a military uniform, much like his grandfather before him. If my grandson can serve in the United States military proudly, I should proudly and loudly support a citizenship who is capable of making intelligent decisions on government pensions and other major expenditures.

This "debt" story is not new. It is not new to America, is not new to Greece, it is an old story. However, there is a new story here, that is to make the global citizen comfortable with the finances and to ask each one of us to care. We must care about our debt not for ourselves but for our children. It is our duty to be responsible and to be accountable to them. We must learn:

  1. the amount of our debt and the amount this means to each American citizen and
  2. the amount in comparison to other countries around the globe and lastly and most importantly,
  3. to whom this debt is owed.

Why? Because, our forefathers left us with a great legacy, a legacy of ingenuity and innovation and responsibility.

"The debt ceiling was increased on February 12, 2010, to $14.294 trillion." Is this reasonable? What can do about it? Journey with me as we offer some graphics that put this problem in perspective. Learn what is reasonable and responsible and if I do my job correctly, I hope you walk away with a sense of empowerment and sense of duty. Duty calls, are you brave enough to even begin to try?

Debt by US President

Graphical Representation of Debt by US President
Graphical Representation of Debt by US President | Source

The Reason for the Truman Debt

"President Truman had to make some extremely difficult decisions during the war's final months, including whether to use the newly-developed atomic bomb. He knew first-hand what military service entailed, and he summed up his feelings about the U.S. troops when he said,

'Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. American will never forget their sacrifices.'"

Debt and History and Freedom

The history of the debt of the United States can only be understood in light of global political events. President Truman was faced with unprecedented global conflicts. My grandfather served in that war and my grandson is serving today in the military. My closest friend from my master's program has two sons in the military. And in the church bulletin, the list of active duty officers was over a dozen in a small Midwestern church.

The purpose of the debt, Truman undertook and the difficult decision he made with the atomic bomb are pieces of history that every citizen of the world must know and fully comprehend. Imagine the circumstances and feel the magnitude of the decisions made. The decisions made changed the world and the financial balances of the world.

Perspective of the War Effort - Even the Duesenburg Helped in the War Effort

To give a perspective of the "war effort", the Duesenburg was the fastest and most elite car of its time and only owned by heads of state and household names. Yet, the engine was taken out of the Pulitzer's Duesenburg and used to operate pulleys to further the war effort.

Side note: The Pulitzer is said to have invented "yellow journalism", a new form of journalism, to capitalize upon advertising revenue. The publication Pulitzer produced was called the World and competed directly with William Hearst publication called The New York Journal.

A Duesenburg was formerly owned by the Pulitzer family and fully restored. Legend has it that one of the Duesenberg's had the engine pulled to serve the war effort to operate pulleys in the war effort.
A Duesenburg was formerly owned by the Pulitzer family and fully restored. Legend has it that one of the Duesenberg's had the engine pulled to serve the war effort to operate pulleys in the war effort. | Source

US Debt Vs Europe

Graphical Representation of US Debt Vs Europe
Graphical Representation of US Debt Vs Europe | Source

US Debt Verses European Debt

The comparatives between the United States and Europe are very similar. The item, I feel we must keep in perspective is the similarities.

The United State's debt is bad business and creates a bad legacy for our next generation.

The real story is the debt will snowball and the debt is no longer owned by its citizens.

Interest will ensure that debt will rise uncontrollably. And those earning money on the debt no longer reside within our community.

Debt Held by Foreigners Foretells Future Financial Hand Cuffs

The same situation haunts Greece whose debt is held by Germany. Remember, the debt of the United States is owned by China.

Having debt is one thing, have debt that grow uncontrollably is another. The tragic end for us and for Greece is we can no longer profit from our debt because we don't own our debt. This is a call for immediate alarm because we are handing the freedom we have fought so hard for over to financial hand cuffs held by foreign lands.

I am German and respect the Chinese immensely, the rule of thumb of any household is to be self sufficient. We, the American public and also Greece have sold our financial freedom to foreigners. Debt cannot be held off shore. A household must be self sufficient or suffer future bondage.

The scare today is beyond the pensions, beyond the debt, the real frightening financial circumstance is we no longer have the means to own our own debt.

Foreign Ownership Stakes of United States Debt Obligations

China's US debt ownership is now larger than Japans
China's US debt ownership is now larger than Japans | Source

Plummet Definition - The Free Dictionary

"Something that weighs down or oppresses; a burden. intr.v. plum·met·ed, plum·met·ing, plum·mets. 1. To fall straight down; plunge. 2. To decline suddenly..."

Insolvency means the inability to pay one's debts as they fall due.

In Truman's Time We Were Obliged to Ourselves

The difference that we must recognize from Truman is the purpose of the debt and the ownership of the debt - both are significantly different.

Truman had an altruistic purpose of the debt.

Our debt can arguably we called "discretionary".

And before you wish to debate the purpose of debt, let's look at the real cloud in our financial picture - our "debt" is literally an "obligation" but this time to someone beyond our American soils. While some may argue about the various altruistic purposes of debt, the pivotal point I am concern with here is 1.) not about the purpose the debt 2.) not about the amount of debt but about the outside ownership of the debt.

You see, manufacturing overseas took our jobs, shifting our debt obligation overseas can literally take our financial freedom. The American people are not profiting from the government debt. So now we have lost jobs and interest earnings. Our standard of living is going to plummet and we will leave a legacy of financial indebtedness and insolvency.

"It is not just the amount of our debt, it is also the fact that Americans no longer own their own debt".

Present Value of Deficits Deceptive

"The present value of these deficits or unfunded obligations is an estimated $45.8 trillion. This is the amount that would have to be set aside during 2009 so that the principal and interest would pay for the unfunded obligations through 2084. Approximately $7.7 trillion relates to Social Security, while $38.2 trillion relates to Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, health care programs will require nearly five times the level of funding than Social Security. Adding this to the national debt and other federal obligations would bring total obligations to nearly $62 trillion.[30] However, these unfunded obligations are not counted in the national debt."

A Billion Here and A Billion Here and Now We Have Real Money

So what is a trillion? It is allot of money. Here are a couple of great videos that give a glimpse of what we are really spending.

Keep in mind our economy has lost jobs and now is losing the interest earnings.

The tragedy here we must recognize is the call for action is now and only we the citizens can demand a compression of government services, government pensions, government entitlements to combat this internal war that we can only wage with ourselves.

We the American people authorized the debt, we can mandate accountability and balanced budget with fully accountable pensions and entitlements.

The time to act is now. Vote in every election and vote with a vision for the future of our grandchildren.

A Trillion Dollars In Visual Perspective

$17 Trillion U.S. Debt - A Visual Perspective

Do you now care more about your country's debt situation?

See results

Is the offshoring of debt important to you?

See results

Legacy of Financial Hand Cuffs or Financial Freedom

We must fight for the financial freedom of our grandchildren and our children. This is a monetary fight that each citizen must recognize and take ownership of. We cannot pass the buck on this one because our children will be holding that hefty bucket of financial obligation.

The burden must be recognized. We must send a clear message our representatives, this is war we can win, the enemy is ourselves. Is it a civil war? Most certainly not, we are on the same side, we are fighting for the future of our children and the future of the world.

The power is in our hands, it is in our voices. Speak up and encourage others to learn these basic financial facts that will lead to either enslavement or financial freedom for our children.

Manufacturing overseas took American jobs, however, a greater concern now, could be the offshoring of our debt.

Offshoring American debt obligations can impair American freedoms.

© 2012 American_Choices


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    • American_Choices profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA


      Wow! You nailed it. The parallel with Germany is something we all should look at and review. I find it amazing the Sack of Rome, Germany, all the great downfalls of civilization is from within. This is critical history for every citizen to know and understand.

      The essence of our lives is simple - where are our values? We must take responsibility. We must learn our history and recognize the similarities.

      Our American debt is the beginning of the fall.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you for publishing this outstanding article. I agree with you that debt levels have reached a crisis. I think we are seeing the implementation of the dreaded "Cloward-Piven Strategy" designed to bring about a Socialist America--a stepping stone to bringing about a Socialist World. The idea being to overload the system with recipients of government aid to bankrupt the country, throw it into chaos, and like Germany in the 1930s, we might accept a Socialist dictatorship with skillful enough rhetoric to convince us a savior has been found.

      I think this highlights one of the big problems with changing from giving private charity to the poor versus public charity (besides the obvious ones such as, just to name two, the main theme of Christian Charity, telling people the Good News, is prohibited; and people are not grateful generally as they are with private charity but instead feel entitled to aid since it comes not from other people but from the more abstract "government"), which is that with private charity only wealth on hand is donated--nobody goes into debt to provide aid.

    • American_Choices profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from USA


      You make an excellent point. Can we bear this financial burden we have created? How can we combat this malady?

      I believe it will take a concerted effort from all of us.

      My next article will be on changing the focus of the financial ratios that we use and include ratios that include a global perspective for both the investor and the consumer.

      IF we believe financial ratios and our debt should be left to finance specialists and government officials, then we as an American do no fully believe and support democracy.

      We have a duty to our country, our children, our grandchildren to change the paradigm of how we spend, how we invest and we must educated everyone.

    • PDXBuys profile image


      7 years ago from Oregon

      With Obama's current trend, we will be at $20 trillion after four more years. Is that serious? How does Obama plan to reverse this trend? What happens if he doesn't?


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