Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Everybody knows the US can never retire its debts – we owe like 20 trillion dollars. More, if you count the value of unfunded promises like Social Security and Obamacare. But everybody also knows you can’t cut spending – can’t even propose a smaller increase in spending – because the media would bury you.
And with Bernie riding the “free stuff” horse into the White House, it’ll only get worse.
So – three possibilities:
- America is unique in history: we never pay the debt and nobody ever cares, it’s all imaginary money anyway, in which case, why not spend even more, give away even more, and everyone can be rich forever?
- Somebody calls the debt and the US Government can’t pay it. It’s happened before, after the Revolutionary War. The resulting economic chaos was mitigated because 90% of the citizens lived on farms where they were used to primitive life and had a chance at being self-sustaining. This time around, 90% of the citizens live in cities that will run out of food and water in days.
- We figure out a way to write off the debt and start fresh, but without a calamitous economic crash.
We’re living as if Option 1 was guaranteed and Option 2 cannot happen. I’m not convinced that’s true. Option 3 is never discussed. Is that because it’s not technically possible? Because it’s not politically feasible? Or because Americans are reluctant to give up the dream of a free lobster in every pot and a free Cadillac in every garage?
I’m starting to think Trulbert was optimistic.