From the February 2009 Idaho Observer:


Stimulating numbers

Per the modern adaptation of Keynesian economics, the White House and Capitol Hill hold the following truths to be self evident:

1. Debt + debt + debt + interest = economic stability and prosperity.

2. There is no prosperity without access to credit.

3. Prosperity is limited only by the number of dollars in circulation and the ability to accrue debt.

4. Government, not the marketplace, creates jobs and determines the value of money by manipulating supply, interest rates and the availability of credit.

The self-evident truths above are well-memorialized by every presidential administration and Congress since WWI. Today we are reaping the whirlwind of these truths and the only solution that comes to presidential and congressional minds is to put together the mother of all debt packages, at a cost of $9.7 trillion, that nearly doubles current levels of public debt, which stands at nearly $10.8 trillion.

A few fun facts

The national debt increased an average of $2.27 billion per day from Sept., 2005 to Sept., 2008.

Between Sept. 18 and Nov. 10, 2008, the national debt rose $958 billion, or about $18.27 billion per day.

The U.S. trade deficit is on track to set a record for a seventh consecutive year, running at an annual rate of -$780 billion.

In six years, U.S. public debt has increased from $4 trillion to $11 trillion dollars.

Effective October 3, 2008, Congress increased the debt ceiling from $10.615 trillion to $11.315 trillion.

The estimated net worth of all American families is about $47 trillion and reducing as property values reduce.

Just to put the "trillion" number into a numerical perspective, counting to one trillion one second at a time would take 31,710 years.

The Government Accountability Office, in its Dec. 17, 2007 report to Congress, stated that the accrued liabilities of the U.S. government "totaled approximately $53 trillion as of September 30, 2007."

No funds have been set aside against the liability.

To put $53 trillion into a global economic perspective, global gross domestic product (GGDP) for 2006 was calculated at $48 trillion and the 2008 GGDP estimate is $54 trillion.

The Pentagon alone cannot account for an estimated $3.3 trillion to $5 trillion.

David M. Walker, then Comptroller General of the U.S. and head of the Government Accountability Office, in his December 17, 2007 report to the U.S. Congress on the financial statements of the U.S. government, noted that "the federal government did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting (including safeguarding assets) and compliance with significant laws and regulations as of September 30, 2007."

Walker resigned as comptroller general March 12, 2008.