Friday, August 22, 2008

I.O.U.S.A. - The $53 trillion breakdown

As tonight's capital budget meeting was ending, I left and drove to Branford to see I.O.U.S.A. The Movie. It was worth it. Of particular interest to me was the live Q&A afterward with gazillionaires Warren Buffett and Pete Peterson, our modern day Paul Revere - Dave Walker, Cato's Bill Niskannen and AARPs Bill Novelli.

Cato and AARP definitely have different views on the remedy. But there's also some obvious room for agreement that indicated some movement is possible... if there's anyone in Washington who will provide some leadership.

Thankfully, David Walker is putting out an APB for a leader this fall.

Tim White

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Forget annual budget deficits; that's just the tip of the iceberg. If the deficit went to 'zero' tomorrow, we'd still be $53 Trillion in debt.

The only way government will be able to pay these debts and obligations is by resorting to hyperinflation, plus selling off remaining assets to foreigners.

The following illustration of hyperinflation will apply to the costs of bread and oil as well as gold.

Price per oz. of Gold in German Marks: 1919- 1923:

Jan. 1919: 170
May. 1919: 267
Sept. 1919: 499

Jan. 1920: 1,340
Sept. 1921: 2,175
Jan. 1922: 3,976
Sept. 1922: 30,381

Jan. 1923: 372,447
May. 1923: 710,355
June 5, 1923: 1,295,256
July 3, 1923: 3,315,831
Aug. 7, 1923: 68,382,000
Sept. 4, 1923: 269,429,000

Oct. 2, 1923: 6.6 Billion
Oct. 9, 1923: 24.8 Billion
Oct. 16, 1923: 85 Billion

Oct. 23, 1923: 1.16 Trillion
Nov. 5, 1923: 8.7 Trillion
Nov. 13, 1923: 17.4 Trillion
Nov. 30, 1923: 87. Trillion

People actually burned currency for fuel because it was cheaper than buying wood. The economic chaos plunged the country into ten years of poltical and social instability until Hitler finally restored order.
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John McCain and Ron Paul are the only presidential candidates who have long records of taking the mounting debt seriously. Obama is clueless to the reality.

McCain has had to make spending promises during the campaign, but I think he understands the situation in his gut, and will try to address it as president.

Still, it may already be too late. The Titanic may already be sinking while most politicians are content to rearrange the deck chairs.

Anonymous said...

Tim Why don't you include all the state and local giveaways. that are underfunded. The states are required to balance their budgets but they do it by borrowing.

Anonymous said...

Tim Why don't you include all the state and local giveaways. that are underfunded. The states are required to balance their budgets but they do it by borrowing.

tim white said...

About a year or so ago, CT was underfunding its postretirement bene's to the tune of $40billion or so, I think.

$8billion for the teachers pension.

Then state ee pensions and healthcare benes were another $20 or $30 billion... and maybe some other stuff needs to be included in the "unfunded / underfunded long term liabilities" category.