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Updated on January 18, 2011

By: Wayne Brown

America is in the worst financial shape in terms of national debt than it has been in since conception as a nation. The Democrats say we have to blame the Republicans and vice versa. The truth of the matter is both parties have failed the American public miserably even if one had the intention of stopping the other from spending. The truth of the matter is that regardless of your orientation, the spenders won and the “stop-spenders lost.

In 1925, our Congress passed laws enacting a cap on the total outstanding debt which the country could carry. At the time the laws were added to the books, that figure was $25 billion dollars…a rather paltry sum by today’s standards of debt. Keep in mind also that at the time every dollar in circulation was backed by a gold reserve not just the trust of the American people. Over the next 85 years all of that would change drastically.

Here we are at the end of the year 2010, some 85 years after a debt ceiling was imposed by law. In that time, Congress has voted to amend the debt ceiling upward a total of 73 times or an average frequency of one time every 1.16 years. When you look at it in that light, it is obvious there has been no serious attempts to quell spending regardless of who was in the White House or who controlled Congress. We have essentially raised the debt ceiling almost every year since we invoked it. The question must be raised as to what the value of the law really was as it posed no obstacle to change.

In round numbers, we now face a staggering debt of some $13 billion dollars and Congress is again talking of raising the debt ceiling yet one more time. One must raise the question at this point as to whether anyone on either side of the aisle has ever attempted to cut spending and reduce waste. I seriously doubt that they have because the ones who are responsible for our operating budgets on an annual are also the same people who are the wasteful spenders…our Congress, the entity of government which controls the purse strings. Apparently the “checks and balances” system has failed the American public in this arena.

There are those in elected office who try to shrug off the accumulated debt or attempt to rationalize it by saying there were far too many wars over the past 85 years which cut into the countries ability to manage costs effectively. On the surface that might sound like a viable excuse to the average Joe walking the street. Let’s run it through the litmus test and see how it holds up.

Obviously, we did not pay for World War I in those figures as the national debt ceiling was imposed after the war was over. Granted, some of the $25 billion in accumulated debt at the time in 1925 might have been left over from WWI but essentially, that war was spending prior to any attempt by the country to manage costs.

World War II and the aftermath Lend Lease rebuild of Europe is estimated to have cost the USA approximately $356 billion dollars. Given that cost and the accumulated national debt we hold today of approximately $13 Trillion dollars, America could have paid for WWII by a factor of 36.5 times with the value of our current debt. Three hundred billion dollars plus is nothing to sneeze at but it is a rather paltry sum in light of our current debt in America.

If we look at all of the wars since the Revolutionary War and combined their costs into 1990 dollar values, America has spent a total of $ 3 trillion 57.3 billion dollars on all of them, with WWII being by far the most expensive. Still, given the national debt, we could have paid for all of these wars by a factor of 4.25 and still been at break even on the books in terms of the debt. So, given the enormity of our national debt, we can hardly blame war as the primary factor of our troubles in America today.

At this point, we also need to stop and consider that the debt has increased by approximately $5 trillion dollars since the Democratically controlled Congress took over at the start of 2007. In that period of time, we have almost doubled our debt factor. Yes, there is a war going on with regard to terrorism but the cost of that war is yet to even closely approximate the costs absorbed by the nation for WWII. We know at least one third of that accumulation has gone to TARP and the STIMULUS Programs. Obviously, the rest must have either gone to pork-barreling / earmarking or social programs.

At this point, it might be good to ask the question as to what costs can be assigned to illegal immigration in America. Obviously, based on Washington’s effort to either suppress or eliminate it, the cost must not be too impressive. Hold on there Red Rider…that may not be the case. The shift of jobs between Americans and illegal immigrants is estimated to cost the federal government $100 billion dollars annually in federal tax revenues. It is estimated that the federal government shells out over $2600 annually for each illegally immigrant household in America. The Department of Interior spends over $ 1 million dollars annually repairing damages caused by the transit of illegals. U.S. taxpayers provide over $250 million dollars annually in payments to hospitals who provide care to illegal aliens in the country. Over 300,000 pregnant mothers illegally cross the border every year just to create an anchor baby in America at some yet undefined cost to the taxpayers. The cost of the normal birth is estimated at $6,000 dollars to the taxpayer. If there are complications, that cost could rise as high as $500, 000 per child…a burden all shouldered by the American taxpayer. The illegal children receive education and at-school meals which creates an additional annual cost of $7,000 per child to the American taxpayer. Between payments of money sent back home by both legals and illegals in America, some $80 billion dollars in U.S. currency leaves the country each year. Numerous other costs are identified but not yet valued with regard to the impact of illegals in this country. Suffice to say, even if you ignore the potential for terrorist to cross our southern border, we have a national security problem just on the basis of the cost of illegals to our revenue stream in America. Apparently Washington has no urgency with it. After all, it’s not their money that is being pissed away…it’s ours.

America currently owes China trillions in T-bills debt service and as those debts mature, China will expect to be paid with interest. Additionally, our annual trade deficit with China is over $700 billion dollars per year meaning far more of our money is going to China than is coming back to trickle into the U.S. economy. This just makes it that much harder for the government to pay the T-Bills as they come due at maturity.

How much is $13 trillion dollars anyway? Most of us working class middle America stiffs cannot visualize such a some of money nor can we visualize how anyone could find a way to spend it without stealing a lot of it from us. I have found one of the best ways to measure untold sums of money is to put it into relative perspective, so although we are suffering, let’s have some fun and see what our money would buy if we had it to spend again.

According to recent reports by Standards & Poors, the estimated value of all the commercial real estate (that used for office buildings, businesses, and retail centers) is $5.3 trillion dollars. So, right away, we can see that we could have taken our $13 trillion dollars in debt and bought every commercial property in America not just once but more than twice and we would not have even had to haggle on the price. Actually we could buy it twice and still have approximately $2.4 trillion dollars in our pocket for fix up and paint up. We could really have some nice places instead we have debt.

Let’s look in the civil aviation business which provides 5.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of this nation by 2007 figures supplied by the FAA. That percentage is worth $1.3 trillion dollars in annual revenue. With our debt money, we could have purchases all of the ticketing, charter, and livery transactions of the entire civil aviation industry in America for a whooping ten years. The regular flying public in America could have flown anywhere in America totally free for the next the past ten years. In terms of hardware, the new Airbus A-380 which is capable of carrying 555 passengers on one flight costs on average $275 million dollars per plane. With our debt money, we could buy 47, 272 of them and have a bit of change left over for fuel. With that passenger space, we could move 26,235,960 passengers at the same time…roughly 10% of the U.S. population.

This would not be fun unless we looked at food. According to reports, the average American spends $6,133 per year on food (groceries). Looking at an average life span of 74 years, the average Americans spend approximately $453,842 on groceries. With our debt money, we could give 28, 644, 329 people free groceries for life. Americans also like to eat out so let’s out leave fast food out of this equation. On the basis of recent studies, America is estimated to spend $134 billion dollars per year on fast food…not fancy restaurants mind you, but fast food like McDonalds and Taco Bell. With our debt money, we could buy fast food for America for the next 97 years. Bring me a Big Mac and fries baby!

What about healthcare…a very popular subject nowadays and one too many politicians want to be a free one for America paid for by American tax dollars. By 2009 figures, the average American household earned just over $62,000 and spent $3,126 annually on healthcare services and products. With our debt money, we could totally replace the average income of we could totally replace the average household income of over 2 million households in one year. We could refund the average annual healthcare outlay of over 41 million households in a give year. According to the American Medical Association, the average medical doctor entering the workforce in 2009 owed $156,000 in education costs. With our debt money, we could totally clear the educational debts of 83.3 million medical school graduates in a given year. If we our future doctors to four years of Harvard Medical School at a cost of $180,000 in tuition, we can offer free medical tuition to over 72 million students in that timeframe.

America loves cars and always has. We like them sporty, fashionable, fast and fun. Certainly one could argue that the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 is all of that in 2010. The average price range for one of these smoking hot babies is a cool $110,000 dollars. That’s a bit out of my budget. But wait, we have the debt money to cover it. If we don’t haggle on the price, using our money, we can give one totally free to almost 12 million Americans today. Wouldn’t that be fun to be one of those lucky 12 million.

The current debt level would make it possible to give 13 million Americans $1 million dollars tax free. Or, if we really wanted to shake up Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, our debt value has the potential to create 13,000 billionaires in America. Our national debt at this point would be capable of covering all but just over 1 trillion dollars of the Gross National Product of America…in other words, America could stop producing anything for one almost one year…if we only had the money and the tin-man only had a heart, and the cowardly lion some courage, and the scare-crow a brain.

I think you get the point and I think you now see the enormity of the size of the debt burden that America bears in the near future. Like any reckless household in America, our country has a limited number of choices. We cannot keep raising the debt ceiling for soon our debt will exceed the asset value of our gross domestic output. Essentially we would be totally bankrupt. Like any family we can choose to throw up our hands and declare bankruptcy and see what happens although I can predict that it would be devastating for every American. From an ethical and sane perspective, we can make a commitment, work out a plan, then put our shoulders to the wheel and work until we pay off every dime of what we owe. At the same time, we can take a vow to never come this way again.

What has happened to America debt-wise is no accident. We have allowed our country to be run by those who are driven by tax and spend motivations wanting to use their newly acquire power to thrill their constituents and buy more votes. Converse to good business principles they have ignored the aspect of cash flow as meaningless. No business that ignores cash flow in its spending plan lasts very long. The same will be true of America. If we continue at the same rate of spending, our debt burden will exceed $20 trillion by 2015 and will likely exceed the annual GDP. At that point, credit will become a problem because even countries like China will start to sour in light of our debt burden.

We will not get out of this situation anytime soon. At best, with spending plans adjusted to lower spending levels back to 2006 or before levels and continuing to meet our entitlements and military spending, the country will be lucky to have $100 to 150 billion in surplus dollars at the current revenue stream rates. Taking the optimists position, that amount of money will require a payout period of 86 years…far too long for America to hold its focus in terms of just reducing spending. Likely, as much as most of us do not want to hear it, a tax hike will be necessary with the stipulation that all increased revenues would go to debt reduction. Even if a tax hike doubled the surplus funding projections, the payout of the total debt would exceed 40 years. This too is not a viable solution.

The final frontier for debt reduction is the economy. If we can find methods to stimulate the economy while we are cutting spending at government levels then many things will begin to happen in parallel and a synergy will develop. Stimulus money obviously has not been the answer to moving the economy. The economy is stalled on “uncertainty” in the business sector. American business needs a five year horizon of stability for planning purposes in the least. Our current administration has fallen short of that horizon and has literally been forced to offer a two year minimal horizon which does nothing to stimulate business investment or expansion of employment. If we can move business in a positive direction, the GDP increase positively as well and the ratio of debt to asset shifts proportionally relieve at least some of the international pressures in terms of trust and borrowing if all out emergency forces the issue. Once business sees a five year window to invest and take some risk, the cash that is in reserve in many corporations will begin to pour into investment and jobs.

Secondly, we have to do something with regard to trade deficits. We have to close that window. Today, the Obama Administration is standing by while the Federal Reserve attempts to gain a gap closure by dampening down the value of the dollar in the international markets. While this may have some success in relieving trade deficit pressures, it could have the opposing effect in the domestic economy. As the dollar reduces in value on the international market, it also drops in purchasing power at home meaning the average consumer needs more of them to make the same purchases. This, we call “inflation” and it creates a tremendous and increasing effect that could easily send the country into the economic issues resembling the Carter years of double digit interest rates if not worse. We are already seeing that effect in the area of crude oil and gasoline prices. Soon it will translate to food and retail shelves. Most of it, if not all of it, will be passed to the American consumer lowering our buying power and reducing our standard of living.

As you can see, there are no easy solutions for the amount of debt our elected officials have piled up in our name. The accountability ultimately falls on the American people to repay the debt and resolve our good name in the global community. It is a requirement and a responsibility we have to the future of the county, our children and theirs, and the global community. We, as a people, are capable of that task as we have proved time and again in the past. But, we, as a people, must be remained focused and we must send elected representatives to Washington who will continue that focus and help to lead us back to a healthy and prosperous society.

As a public, we need to speak with one voice on this issue. How many sides can there be when it becomes apparent that we have overspent our abilities and our revenue stream. We must speak as one voice and demand responsible government, acknowledge the fact that government never has and never will be the ultimate cure all for mankind’s ills. We must learn independence again and count on our own responsible methods to take care of ourselves and our love ones just as our forefathers once did so effectively. An entitlement society eventually becomes a broken welfare society that produces nothing and loses all its self-esteem in the process. I do not think any true American wants to see such an outcome.

I hope this comparative discussion of debt burden has helped in opening your eyes to the serious problem that we face as a nation in the years ahead of us. Together, we can fix. Divided, we will only make it worse. Let’s do the right thing. WB



© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


Do you think the average American understands our debt burden?

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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas true...there are far too many in Washington today who are quite willing to toss out the Constitution for the world they would choose to create. If they manage their own life in any way like they do business in Washington, their financial future must be in shambles. Unfortunately, we don't even have the capability to check the birth certificate of a candidate for President...we just take his word for it. Is this what America has come to symbolize...deceit? I hope not! Thanks for your great comments. WB

    • profile image 

      7 years ago from upstate, NY

      Great information on a very deadly problem for our economy! This debt is a symptom of even deeper issues in this country, such as declining morals and Christian spiritual values. Three quarters of what the government does has no Constitutional basis! If the Constitution was followed we'd have little or no debt. The federal government has no business in offering any entitlement programs, if its done at all it should be by state or local governments which are closer the the people. Our elected and appointed officials need the threat of impeachment and criminal prosecution to maintain an accountability.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Muldanian...Thank for your insight and good comments. The asian countries currently hold the keys to the world with cheap labor. As afluence rises in the area over the years, this will tend to be less the case or so it might seem. Within China, it's anyone's guess as to what will happen. Many companies within America and Europe are becoming very sensitive to "sweat shop" products and are beginning to address human rights concerns especially in China. China is quite dependent on maintaining world markets for their goods therefore these issues will surface sooner or later. At the same time, China's enormous population represents a future problem in terms of food sources and supplies. If a country shifts its labor force more and more to manufacturing, there are less and less people to work on the farms and produce the food. This will force China into the import market for food products which in turn may inflate prices for food staples in the same way it is currently affecting petroleum products. As long as China has the money to pay premium prices, there will be an inflationary cycle felt throughout the rest of the world. While the world leans toward a "global" concept, our survival may actually depend on our own country's ability to sustain its independence in light of the competition for world resources...thes are interesting times. WB

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The economic situation in the UK is equally dire. I believe the future control of the world's economy belongs to the East, to countries like China and India. Just as Europe has come-to-terms with the world no longer being Eurocentric over the past half century, so too will Americans have to accept that it has now shifted to the East. At least politically and militarily the USA will still have a role to play in the world.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @epigramman...I am hoping that what you say is true and that we good ones can will our country back to where it needs to be. We once had a country built on ignorance and it worked let's get back to that! LOL! WB

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...well this is all over my head - you must remember I am a complacent Canadian - lol lol - but the sentiment is still there - and as long as there are good men (like you) and good women America will always be the greatest country in the world ....through thick and through thin!!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Whidbeywriter...Thank you! I believe we as a people have to act in the majority and show those in government that they will not be allowed to serve if they cannot take America in the direction that us "stockholders" want to go. We cannot continue to create a nation of entitlement in order to garner votes for a given political party...those days are over. We have to become a lean, mean, fiscally-responsible country that continues to respect its constitution and the rule of law. Once we set that course, we should not allow anyone to deter us from our destination. WB

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 

      7 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      Hi Wayne, you hit it right on the money....13 trillion to be exact and what a huge number that is!!! I think we should send your hub to every American household because it is obvious there are so many who do not know we have this major debt problem, it's obvious by the way they voted in 2010! I totally agree with you about our politicians, both sides, they promise everything but deliver nothing. You did an excellent job at explaining what America's true issues are, now would government lend you an ear please!!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @CHRIS 57: Thank you...the political/economic arena is certainly not my area of expertise but who can afford to ignore it lately. So, if I cannot ignore it I must put it in terms that make sense to me. So, this is essential what this piece working through my understanding. It was better when I didn't the part about sleeping good at night! WB

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well done, Wayne. You are one the few who connect the government dept to global trade imparities.

      By the way, taking figures from the Census Bureau, the trade deficit should be less than 650 Billion in 2010 with some 250 Billion USD from China.

      That US/world trade deficit for gourmet understanding: Every American, every day, receives a free meal from McBurgerDonaldKing, sponsored by your friendly world in the neighbourhood.

      You know the word which describes the US and world situation adequately:

      When i owed 100.000 bucks to the bank, i couldn´t sleep, but the bank could.

      Now i owe 10 Millions to the bank. I sleep perfectly well, but the bank does no more.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @ladyjane1...Thanks much LJ. This is a subject that really rips me and I am very upset with both sides of the aisle regarding it. I is obvious based on the frequency of raising the debt ceiling that no one in Washington has tried to do anything to reduce is high time that stopped and we head in the other direction. Thanks for the good words. WB

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Wow thanks for breaking that down for us Wayne, it really shines the light on how enormous the problem is and it is hard for Americans to comprehend the word trillion because it is just unfathomable to me and others. Hope we can somehow get out of this huge hole and get serious with bringing down this debt. Maybe we can get an interest free loan from Oprah, I hear shes loaded. LOL. Cheers to you Wayne.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @kimh039...Americans, on either side of the discussion, have a right to be heard. They have a responsibility to do that in a peaceful manner in the reciprocal. When we resort to name-calling, labels, or threats, we are only exhibiting the limits of our own education and ignorance. If I truly have a point to make, the I should be able to make it factually and my freedom of speech allows me the right to be heard. When I no longer have that right, neither do you and our perspectives might have been totally different. We cannot shut down difference in opinion with legislation. My point in this piece is to say that America cannot continue down this road toward the future carrying this debt load and expect to survive. You cannot run your household this way and survive and neither will America. That common sense; that logic, should be common to all Americans regardless of their political orientations. We have to be responsible about individuals and as Americans. I am outraged that our elected officials have brought us to where we are today...I am not saying that blame lies more on one side of the aisle than the other. When the legislature raises the debt ceiling almost annually on average since 1925, I would conclude all of our elected officials are at fault. The key here is that we as the American public can no longer trust any elected officials to get us out of this without being vigilant in our efforts to keep their nose to the grindstone and make them orient themselves to fiscal responsibility....its what we want as a nation; its what we require to survive as a nation; and there no viable alternatives so those who would offer them are simply attempting to continue the trek to destruction. Thanks for the good comments, I really appreciate it! WB

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      Wayne, I do think the American people need to have a peaceful way to protest. Talking about hanging and shooting people doesn't help. Name calling a person who disagrees doesn't help either. While most of us can take this talk in stride, there are many, many people in this country who get the wrong idea and take it to the extreme. I like the idea of closing down the government for 3 months as suggested in the video as a way to address the deficit problem. I wholehearedly agree that "An entitlement society eventually becomes a broken welfare society that produces nothing and loses all its self-esteem in the process."

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @sueroy333...We'll you know what the call a school bus full of lawyers going over a cliff with one empty seat..."a cryin' frigging shame!" LOL! The first rule of revolution is to shoot all the lawyers! LOL. I guess you could say my writing is symbolic of my bleeding red, white, and blue...six years+ in uniform can make a man proud of his country and not want to see it go down the crapper. Thanks for the great comments and for the sharing. WB

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      I think Micky had an excellent point. "We keep electing lawyers in hopes of finding a good one.". Aren't we the bright ones!

      We talk about how lawyers caused health care to rise, business to cave in, and people to become homeless due to frivolous law-suits and we get mad.

      Then we elect these guys to public office.

      Great article, Wayne. I love the way you helped make a number that we can't wrap our minds around understandable. It is time we did something about it, not just elect people who yap and make laws to pacify the american public knowing they're just going to amend the laws later and keep on spending.

      Voted up, useful, liked, bookmarked for my kid and shared. Thank you.

      I may be wrong, but I'll bet you bleed red, white and blue!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Micky points are well-taken Mick. How can one party claim to be different from the other if we average raising the debt ceiling almost once every year since 1925...Duh! Thanks for your great comments! WB

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Again- America is a corporation. It needs to be the co-op. We keep electing lawyers in hopes of finding a good one. I've said the republican party is the party of the rich and corporations and there are no democrats after election. I'll say it the other way so no one will feel left out. The democratic party is the party of the rich and corporations and there are no republicans after election. God bless!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @cjv123...This was a weird one, Carol. I sat down at the computer Friday night thinking of writing a poem and ended up with this. It just came roaring forth. I had been angry most of the week as I listened to both sides of the aisle speak of trimming spending and realized that there was more rhetoric there than meat. I could not fathom what 13 trillion dollars looked like so I felt that I needed to put it into perspective for myself then I could really complain about it...actually I scared myself with enormity and I am absolutely appalled that as a nation we have sat by let these people do this to us raising the debt ceiling by the year and continue to spend more than we took in. I am enraged over Social Security...everyone in Washington wants to talk about it as if it is something sinister and's an "entitlement" program which the country has been strapped with and is feeling the weight of. There was nothing wrong with the concept of SS in the all comes down to not putting the money away and filling the box it belonged in with useless IOU's from our government. The problem with Social Security like everything else is the people we have sent to the is my soapbox showing yet? Oops...Sorry. Thanks much for stopping by and I did love that photo of you and Tim Bryce...I have to get to FB and comment on it! Thanks for stopping in! WB

    • cjv123 profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Wayne, you have hit on SO many valid and important points with this terrible national problem. Illegal aliens being one massive one and the fact that the war and the cost of our military is marginal and even tiny in comparison to what this nation spends on our domestic/welfare expenditures. This was very will thought out and as always, very well written! Great Hub Wayne!


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @pearlmacb...LOL! Now you know how most Americans feel all the time. Our politicians lie and double-talk so much that one must do their own research to get some semblance of the truth. Glad it was informative for you. WB

      @TimBryce...He said with an Oriental accent! LOL! Maybe the Chinese are the ones who should be worried, huh? LOL! Thanks Tim. WB

      @dahoglund...I have heard of that theory and it tends to make sense. I also heard it expressed as a propensity to spend everything that is available. Thanks DA. WB

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      An old book back in the 1960's "Parkinsons Law" explained how this all works.For example; if a committee has to make a decison about a $100 appropriation they will argue about oit for hours. However one for a trillion they will pass with minor didcussion. That is because they can all comprhend $100 but the trillion is an abstraction to most people.

      Further there is mentality that they should be doing somethin.paqswswing a bad law is better than no law at all.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Debt? What debt? We don't have a debt. The Chinese have ours.

      Good Hub.


    • pearlmacb profile image


      7 years ago from Switzerland

      Wayne, your hub has given me insight and further understanding of americas debt in europe Im only aware of surface facts, so thankyou- rated useful:-)

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @pamela99...I would hope the folks in Congress understand it better than me but perhaps they are in denial. LOL! Thanks for the great feedback Pam! WB

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Wayne, This is an excellent hub that explains so many facets of the debt to try and give people a true understanding of its enormity. Even congressmen and women should be able to understand what you've written. Awesome hub, rated up.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @breakfastpop....It comes really easy when you are mad about the entire situation. We should have a public hanging and rid ourselves of some of this sleeze that lives in Washington...the vermin of our society to a large degree. Thanks Poppy I appreciate the good words and the rating! WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      What an excellent job, Wayne. Your clear explanation of the problem should be required reading for all Americans,especially those serving in Washington. Voted up and useful.

    • bayoulady profile image


      7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      A dismal but true assessment. Well done,Wayne!

    • eovery profile image


      7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      wIf you take in inflation and the debt after WWII is almost as much as it is now, but a little lower. This shows me that there is hope, but we have to turn it around. After WWII and the depression, the people learned a great lesson and was able to turn it around. That was much different from what we have today, were every wants to live on their children money, but did not have enough children to support them. After WWII, there were larger families than we have today, so each retireed person had 3-5 children paying in social security. Today there is 1-2 paying. This is why SS is not sustainable.

      Keep on hubbing!

      Keep on hubbing!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The debt is so enormous that many politicians are reduced to ignoring it, like a child who refuses to recognize the need to address a daunting task.

      But even our 14 trillion dollar debt is dwarfed by the nearly 100 trillion in entitlement debt.

      I suspect that we will collapse before we are able to find a solution. I'm afraid our politicians have spent us into oblivion.

      Good Hub Wayne.


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