David Seeger introduced us to the U.S. Debt Clock on Money Monday on WNWO Today. The entire staff was fascinated and saddened by how large and fast the numbers were growing. Seeger, President & CEO of Great Lakes Credit Union, took the time to explain the numbers, what they mean, and where we go from here.
There is a huge national debate on issues of governmental revenues and spending, and it is a major component of the upcoming election as to the direction of the United States. Many people hear terminology about deficits, national debt, etc., and yet may not be totally versed on what this all means.
When we talk about a deficit, we are talking that, as a nation, we are taking in less revenue (income from taxes, fees and tariffs) than what we are spending (defense, entitlements and infrastructure costs) on an annual basis. If were we taking in more revenue than what we were spending, then we would be having a surplus instead. The last time we had a budget surplus was in the latter 1990's under the Clinton Administration.
The national debt is the accumulation of deceits over the years that are being funded by the government. The current national debt is over 15 trillion dollars. The share of the national debt per taxpayer is $139,000+, which is more than the average price of a home in Toledo. The majority of the debt held in bonds is held by the American Public and Corporations, but in the past few years, foreign governments have been buying the majority of our national debt. China is the major purchaser of our new debt, followed by Japan.
Seeger says that, politically, President Obama and Romney both have not yet offered exactly what they plan to do to decrease these numbers, and he isn't sure they really will. With the numbers fastly rising, something needs to happen fast - but will it?
To follow the U.S. Debt Clock: www.http://usdebtclock.org/