How much debt is too much?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Wiseacre, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Right now we're at 14.4 trillion, with some estimates doubling that in 10 years. And if the credit rating is downgraded, that number could be a lot worse. Today we spend somewhere around 200-250 billion a year just in interest payments, imagine spending well north of a trillion dollars, what a drag on our economy. Even if our credit rating is not downgraded, interest rates can't stay this low forever, and when they rise so will our payments.

    I've seen a few plans to reduce the debt by 4 to 6 trillion over 10 or 12 years, but that could still leave us with 20 trillion in debt. It ain't enough, IMHO. While I don't think we need to zero it out asap, I do think we should be gradually working the debt down, maybe a hundred billion or two per year. It's doable if we can hold down the spending.

    My opinion - for the next couple of years we need to spend as wisely as possible, drastic cuts at this point would be counter productive over the long run. As would tax hikes. On anybody. The debt is a serious problem, but cannot be paid for just by the rich, we need more employment to widen the tax base. I say that should be our 1st priority, improve he economy and create more jobs. Okay by me if we restrucutre the tax code to reduce or eliminate the loopholes, breaks, and subsides, in fact I'd be fine with a flat tax with no deductions at all. But IMHO it should be revenue neutral, we shouldn't be sucking money out of the private sector. There are other factors, like deregulation and fixing healthcare to hav some control over costs.

    So, if the debt gets up to 17 or 18 trillion as a result of these efforts, it may be worth it if we can position ourselves for more revenue from a better economy and less spending from better governance. Certainly there will be recessions in the future, we have to be aware of that and prepared for it. Emergencies of onenatureor another can happen, e're not going to run a surplus every year, but we've gotta be smart about it and not blow the money. Will we? I hope so, cuz if we don't our kids and grandkids will have to pay a higher price later than we have now.
     
  2. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    I would say $5-$6 Trillion at most, and that is if there was a major war to fund.
    And that is entirely possible to do.
     
  3. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    How much debt is too much? All of it.
     
  4. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Like it or not, we're in the Age of Austerity. It will continue along one of two tracks: belt tightening to pay down the debt (both private and public), or much higher interest rates which will eat up income without addressing existing debt levels (and likely accompanied by lifestyle crushing inflation).

    The government spends too much money and consumes too high of a ratio of our GDP. The sooner we downsize it (by narrowing the scope of its activities), the better.
     
  5. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    well, one way to look at it is;

    List of sovereign states by public debt
     

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