(WSJ) John Steele Gordon—A Short Primer on the National Debt

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In absolute numbers, the total public debt as of Aug. 11 was $9.924 trillion, and the intra-government debt was $4.666 trillion, for a total of $14.587 trillion. That's well over 300 million times the country's median household income....

The GDP of the United States was $15.003 trillion at the end of the first quarter in 2011. That makes the public debt equal to 66.1% of GDP and the intra-governmental debt 31.1%. Total debt is now 97.2% of GDP and climbing rapidly.

And it's the climbing rapidly part that is worrisome, not the debt's current size relative to GDP. Indeed, the debt has been substantially higher by that measure in earlier times. In 1946, in the immediate aftermath of World War II, it was 129.98% of GDP. But while the debt had increased enormously during the war (it had been 50% of a much smaller GDP in 1940), it did not increase substantially over the next 15 years....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in General

Posted August 30, 2011 at 7:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. lostdesert wrote:

Sent this to everyone I thought had the stomach for it.  Unfortunately, those who have the stomach to read it are the very ones who believe we should live within our means.

What is happening to my country?  God help us.

August 31, 8:06 pm | [comment link]
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