US National Debt

Why Americans should be concerned.

Presented by S. Abrass and M. Remaklus

So What Do We Owe?

As of April 15th 2014 the United States Government is 17.577 trillion dollars in debt. THe largest percent of the debt is owed to Americans themselves. After that, there is social security, federal reserve, the military, and then all the countries we've been borrowing money from to get us out of debt. In doing so, however, we are just gaining more debt because eventually that borrowed money needs to be paid back. So in a sense, getting out of debt is putting America into more debt.

Looking at Past and Future Debt

The chart above displays the National Debt from the year 1790 to a predicted 2030. Major spikes in debt were shown to be associated with monumental events, such as wars and The Great Depression. While looking at the latest spike in the graph, matching up to about 2015, the spike is larger than the Civil War, WWI, and about the same as The Great Depression. We have not yet reached the height of WWII, but the projected rate of our debt is suspected to get up to the same level by year 2040. This is an alarming statistic, considering there is no real reason that our numbers should be going up this fast, and there is no real plan for what to do.

The National Debt Clock is a real time website that actually shows the National Debt growing. It shows what exactly the debt is growing in, what an individual would have to pay to work off this debt. By looking at the debt one can certainly see the alarming rate of growth and the idea of just how hard it will be to even make a dent in the national debt.

What Does the Constitution Say?

So how did this happen? Shouldn't there be something in the Constitution that prevented this from happening? Well, yeah, but when looking at the Constitution it vaguely sets up a plan for these debts and how we are going to pay for them. It states in Article 1 Section 8, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States." So the government can potentially take taxes from Americans in order to pay off this debt. How much would it take though? According to the Debt Clock it would be around $55,000 per person. That's including every single adult, child, and baby, employed or not. So if there is a standard five person family, those parents would have to pay $275,000 for their family. That's a crazy amount of money even for a well off middle class family. So what if it was just the taxpayers? It would cost each taxpayer $152,000. Now this five person family owes around $300,000. Hooray.

For the full Constitution:

Who is Going to Pay?

Elmo is right. You. The children of America. The ones who didn't have the choice and who didn't put America into this situation in in the first place. It's just getting worse. The graph shows the numbers surpassing the income that American Government has been bringing in. So what happens when we're just too far in to get out?

That was just in 2009. Imagine now, five years later, with the debt up to 17 trillion. The debt is growing faster and at an alarming rate. Whether or not Elmo is completely credible, he gets the idea.

Why This Should Be Scary For You.

You should care because you have to deal with it. The future generations are the ones who have to carry this weight and pay off the debt. The officials making the debt had the knowledge that they wouldn't have to see the aftermath. The coming generations do. It is predicted by some that the national debt will reach 25 trillion in 2015. That's next year, that's double the debt right now.

So we know the numbers, 17 trillion in debt. What is that though? Really how much money is that? Well, here are some facts to put this into perspective.

If right now you were to start spending a dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to pay off this debt.

If you taped a trillion $10 bills together, end to end, and wrapped them around the world. It would go around 380 times. That amount of money would still not pay the national debt.

If Bill Gates were to give every single penny to the national debt, it would cover cover the US deficit budget for 15 days.

So this is all pretty alarming. What can you do about it? Well for now, get others informed. Care about the issue and find out who is going to fix the problem, and vote for them.

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