Industrial Insight

We owe a lot…. | March 5, 2011

The Times vs. Reality: Yes, We’re Broke

March 3, 2011 3:45 P.M.
By Kevin D. Williamson

The Times says our deficit is “too large for comfort,” but says that even modest spending cuts would be disastrous. (No, I can’t think of how to make that add up, either.) Let’s consider:

U.S. national debt: about $14 trillion.

U.S. GDP: About $14 trillion.

Symmetry! Not the good kind.

Obligations of U.S. federal, state, and local governments, including sovereign debt, bonds, pension liabilities, and entitlement liabilities, i.e. the real national debt: About $130 trillion.

GDP of Planet Earth: About $60 trillion.

If you owe more than twice the sum total of the planet’s economic output and you think you are not broke, what the hell qualifies as broke? Do we have to take out a zero-down mortgage on Centaurus A?


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About author

I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.







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