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December 23, 2012

What Is Your Share of the National Debt? [fluffy]

Short answer:

I don't know. You are [fucked|screwed|pooched].

I Don't Know

Why bother reading further when the author seemingly doesn't know the exact figure?

One problem is that the number is a moving target. Can you guess which direction the number is going?

Taking a look

This has to be a relatively simple exercise in arithmetic. One could divide a 14 digit number by a 9 digit number by hand, but I'll do it with a calculator, thank you.

Stopping by at http://www.usdebtclock.org I get the current debt figure of $16,395,173,356,211.

Divide that by 314,982,978 people in the US and I get $52,050.98 per man, woman and child. Got a spare $52K, Bunky?

That figure, however, is wrong. It includes the all Americans, the majority of whom are non-taxpayers. It includes my retired parents and in-laws, who are contributing very little to the national treasury at this point of their lives. Let's run the numbers again.

Take the current national debt, now at $16,395,177,588,347, divide by a US workforce of 143,963,180 and we get $113,884.52 per taxpayer. You have a job, right? Sorry if you don't. At this point, I would still rather be pulling the wagon than riding it.

So we have this nice ballpark figure of $114K, but it still isn't correct. No matter how average a person may be, they are still (an) individual(s). Are you washing dishes 32 hours per week? Your share is going to be lower. Are you a fund manager or an investment banker? Your share will be higher. People with more income pay more income tax. But we knew that.

There is No "Share"

Do you have a mortgage? My wife and I have a mortgage. It involves a significant amount of debt, but it also involves a plan. We send a check every month and at a particular date in the future, we will owe no more. I know that date.

With the feds, there is no plan. You could ask around Washington, D.C. and find quite a few people who won't even ackowledge that something needs to be done. (Fire them. They make way more money than you, should know better, and some cause America problems). That is why in a few minutes between calculation, our debt went up by more than $2million.

Our debt is 105.6% of our GDP. If everything we earned for 1 year and 19 days went directly to paying off debt, we would be in the clear. In the meantime, you would be kicked out of your house for not paying property taxes, in legal trouble from not paying state of federal income taxes, and looking kind of thin from subsisting on moss soup and acorns. Clearly, this will not be fixed in a year. Or two, or five.

My mortgage? It is more than 105% of my household income, but it's a fixed obligation and we have an amortization date. No such luck with the feds. Unless it is dealt with, the problem will get kicked down the road until the road gets washed into the sea.

"Average"

Are you average? I'm not. I'm an individual, as are you. If you make lots of money, you will pay lots of taxes. If you are young, you will be paying taxes for many years. Great, isn't it? You are paying interest on a debt that has little to do with you. You are paying Social Security for your grandparent's generation. You are being convinced that it's no big deal.

Have you ever had a credit card problem? That is what we are working up to on a national scale. That leads to a whole lot of 'doing without.' Ask Greece about that.


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posted by Guest Blogger at 01:51 PM

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