16 March 2006

U.S. Debt Limit Raised, Again

The US Senate passed the necessary, but politically senstive, bill to raise the debt of the United States to $8,985,000,000,000. The reckless spending of the US Congress has to come to an end soon as the debt is now nearly 3/4 of our annual GDP (according to the CIA Factbook) and has increased by 50% since President Bush took office.

Congress needs to follow the same rules as everybody else that runs up tons of long term debt to pay for short term items. Either get more income (raise taxes) or cut spending. If the Treasury is paying an average of 4.75% (based upon the current yield which may or may not reflect the true interest paid), the annual interest cost of carrying the current debt of $8.2 trillion is $392.8 billion. Every single year that's the amount going just to service the debt, not to pay any of it off.

The debt is unsustainable, but nothing will happen until the mood changes in Washington (or a fiscal catastrophe happens). Unfortunately, this debt glut trickles down to people who often joke that why should they balance their budgets when Congress can't? It's a good question.

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