Trying to understand the burden of debt placed on the American taxpayer by our government is difficult at times to understand. There are two terms we should all be familiar with so when news stories come out about the “budget” or “deficit” crisis we know what is being discussed. A Federal Budget Deficit is the short fall our government expects to see for the year ahead. In other words the federal government is spending more than it brings in each year and it can project the amount of money it will be short. This money we don’t have is tacked on to the Structural Debt. The Structural Debt is the ever growing and steaming heap of IOU’s government piles on each year because our elected officials can not pay for what they spend. For the past two years the growth of the interest payments alone has averaged 9% for the long term Structural Debt which currently stands at more than $15 Trillion dollars. If this pattern continues by the year 2020 the interest payments alone will approach $1 Trillion dollars. Put this number in perspective when the current 2012 Budget proposed is $3.27 Trillion dollars. Granted 2020 is eight years away but even if government spending is reduced we still have to pay interest on the $15 Trillion dollars. Let’s put it this way, it could be by 2020 close to 1 out of every 3 dollars the government collects from you the taxpayer will be used to pay interest expense alone. How this will impact the economy in the future is unknown but it will curtail all types of spending from military to social and infrastructure programs. The National Debt Clock just keep ticking and the amount you and I owe continues to move upward now over $135,000 for each one of us. Sobering, isn’t it? From my perspective it looks like we will never be able to pay it back. There are some who believe it is a fact we as a nation have yet to face.
Source: In 2011 we, yes We the People paid over 454 billion dollars in interest expense. See the government numbers here. http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm