I.O.U.S.A – The National Debt Crisis

by Joe on April 12, 2010

I sat this weekend and watched a documentary that aired on CNN called I.O.U.S.A. that tells the story of the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the U.S. economy, the current, and future generations. It was a shock to realize the immense amount of debt that the US government is carrying. The projected deficit if nothing is done to change the trend was even more absurd; but the national debt and crazy spending is just a reflection of crazy personal spending and personal debts. This documentary was created last year(2009), and you can download a copy of these facts here. While paying this debt may seem insuperable, yet it is smaller than the debt after WWII and the Great Depression as a percentage of GDP. However, during post World War II, people were willing to sacrifice but these days; we have a sense of entitlement!

Watch I.O.U.S.A.: Byte-Sized – The 30-Minute Version

The panel of professionals had some few suggestions on what may help to reduce the skyrocketing debt.

  1. Taxes are inevitable and will have to be raised.
  2. Tax cuts previously authorized should be left to expire and not renewed.
  3. Reform the Social Security- Based on current statistics, social security benefits will not be sustainable in the next twenty years.
  4. Reduce discretionary spending.
  5. Personal sacrifice
  6. Reform other social programs.

Are you playing your part to get out of debt? Share your thoughts.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin@OutOfYourRut April 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Jeff – I think it’s the sheer size of the national debt and the future projections that are causing people to yawn at discussions of the debt. The numbers are so big that they defy comprehension. It’s like an ant that’s unaware of the trees around it.

The other point is that we’ve been continuing to manage with large and growing numbers, so a deep level of complacency has set in. There have been silent consequences, such as the gradual erosion of living standards and a greater reliance on personal debt in the face of it, but most don’t make the connection.

My fear is that the debt won’t be seen as a problem until it’s too big to be tamed. Then we’ll all be asking the age old sucker question, “what WERE we thinking?!”


Joe April 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

@Kevin i TOTALLY agree with you on this, and the then on individual level we have to take personal responsibilities to get out of debt.
Imagine if the goverment start giving tax breaks for people who save a set amount of money per year (based on income) instead of tax breaks on spending.. can it change our mind – or we are so conditioned to spending, that such an offer will not be a motivation?


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