Sunday, November 22, 2009

Postscript To California Dreaming

How about this from the Times:

Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The potential for rapidly escalating interest payouts is just one of the wrenching challenges facing the United States after decades of living beyond its means.

Let's say the forecasters get it right for once. Think about $700 billion just in INTEREST expense. It's almost unfathomable. I know the political pundits will heap a lot of blame on the current Administration and while I have my problems with the direction this Administration has gone so far--this financial catastrophe didn't just happen. It's been years in the making.

1 comment:

Bruce Bergwall said...

Unless the US can file bankruptcy - which I can't because China won't stand for it - and ask for a "do over" that $500B+/Yr is just P&I assuming interest rates remain low. What a friggin' mess; where's Ron Paul when we need him.

FYI - heard somewhere that if they pegged the dollar to gold today it would put gold at btw $8K-$11K/ounce.