the national debt history, trends and impact

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A presentation on the National Debt demonstrating my Power Point skill set (and knowledge of the Federal Debt!)


  • 1. The National Debt: History, Trends and Impact Roni Sue Player Econ 502 Southern New Hampshire University Term 4: 2008

2. What is the National Debt? on-budget deficits(needed to keep the Government operating) on-budget money spent off-budget money spent off-budget revenue on-budget revenue ACCUMULATED deficits ACUUMULATED OFF-BUDGET surpluses REVENUE (receipts) Money spent (outlays) MINUS 3. How Much is the debt?

  • Federal debt totaled about $9 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2007. However, that number excludes:
  • The scheduled and funded Social Security and Medicare benefits gap
  • Veterans health care
  • Miscellaneous other commitments and undertakings
  • Total National debt with additional pledges

$53 trillion 4.

  • 1 trillion seconds = 31,546 years
  • 1 trillion dollar bills end to end =96.9 million miles (reaches the Sun)
  • 1 trillion dollars buys more than 35 million cars (at an average new car cost of $28,400)
  • At a Federal debt of more than $8.7 trillion, a stack of US dollar bills would reach from the Earth to the Moon and back with some to spare
  • $8.7 trillion in one-dollar bills would cover an area larger than each US state except for Alaska and Texas

How Much? 5. The total debt and how much is owed by each US citizen to the government: Nine trillion, two hundred and five billion, eight hundred and eighteen million, eight hundred and eighty seven thousand, three hundred and sixty four dollars 6. Where does the Money go? Social Security Administration Department of Defense Health and Human Services Treasury Department (includes interest on the Debt) 7. The Debt is Held by the Public and by Intergovernmental Entities 8. Examining Debt Holder #1: The Public

  • Treasury bills, notes, bonds and savings bonds are sold to the public competing with other sectors in the credit markets
  • Federal borrowing absorbs resources available for private investment (this may put upward pressure on interest rates)
  • Interest is paid in cash
  • To finance fund redemptions (by the public) the Treasury usuallyborrowsfrom the public

9. Examining Debt Holder #2: Other Government Agencies

  • Borrowing from a sibling Federal agency is simply an accounting function not requiring a cash payment (does not burden the current economy)
  • Treasury securities have balances held by federal government accounts, primarily federal trust funds (e.g., Social Security) that typically have an obligation to invest their excess annual receipts over disbursements in federal securities

10. Examining Debt Holder #2: Other Government Agencies (Contd.)

  • Most federal trust funds invest in special U.S. Treasury securities that are guaranteed for principal and interest by thefull faith and creditof the U.S. government
  • These loans represent a priority call on future budgetary resources
  • The federal government uses the trust funds invested cashsurplusesto assist in funding other federal government costs

11. Examining Debt Holder #3: Foreigners

  • Foreign and international investors held $1,383 billion (36%) of the debt in 2003, to $2,220 billion (45%) by June 30, 2007(+ $837 billion)
  • The U.S. government sends foreign-held interest payments abroad, adding to the foreign vs. U.S. residents income
  • Increasing reliance on foreign and international investors presents potential risk to the U.S. economy (since the U.S. gross national saving rate is low by U.S. historical standards)

12. Our Treasury Secretary Foreign Investment in the United States "Foreign investment plays an important role in maintaining America's economic strength. When foreign companies invest in the United States, they are sending a clear signal of confidence in the American economy and American workers. Henry M. Paulson, Jr. 13. Historical Debt w/o Inflation and 14. Adjusting for Inflation 15.

  • Over 28 years, since 1980, the Federal debtincreased, from under $1 to $9.4 trillion (about 900%) more than $8.4 trillion dollars

Historical Debt Why is the Debt so large?

  • the government has the ability to create money. The supply of money (backed by gold and silver) was restricted until 1971 (when President Nixon took us off the gold standard)
  • Today's money is backed only by "full faith and credit," which the government has in unlimited supply

How? 16. Trends and Impact of the National Debt

  • Is the National Debt an indicator of economic productivity?

When total U.S. debt grows slowly, the economy lags. The reason:Debt and money are synonymous terms. 17. Trends and Impact of the National Debt

  • Giventhe size of the projected imbalance, the U.S. government will not be able to grow its way out of this problem
  • Retirements of the baby boom generation and rising health care costs place additional pressure on the federal budget
  • Long-term simulations (by Federal Government Accounting and Budgeting agencies) show that without policy changes, debt held by the public will rise to levels ultimately unsustainable by the U.S. economy

18. Trends and Impact of the National Debt - Conclusion

  • Although we manage the Debt, we cannot forestall soaring commodity prices ($900 gold and $125 crude oil)
  • Naturalresources like crude oil must eventually decrease over time, even if new technology suppresses the price
  • 150 years ago the planet's total crude oil totaled about 2 trillion barrels; we've got one trillion left. We use 80 million barrels a day which equals 31 years of oil.

We can create more debt, but not more barrels of oil 19. Trends and Impact of the National Debt - Quote

  • Most of us have some vague idea that one trillion is the number that lies somewhere between one billion and one gazillion. But beyond that, we have no clue. And because we have no clue, we have a hard time making a connection between the one trillion barrels of oil that lie buried somewhere inside the earth's crust and the 54 trillion dollars of liabilities that lie buried somewhere inside the US government's balance sheet.

20. Trends and Impact of the National Debt Quote (Contd.)

  • And that's why you should listen to that little voice inside your head when it tells you: $200 crude oil may be crazy, but not nearly as crazy as a $54 trillion IOU.
  • [Eric J.Fry (12 May 2008)]

21. Bibliography

  • 2007 FINANCIAL AUDIT Bureau of the Public Debts Fiscal Years 2007 and 2006 Schedules of Federal Debt (November 2007) Retrieved July 12, 2008 fromhttp://www. treasurydirect . gov / govt /reports/pd/ feddebt / feddebt _ann2007. pdf
  • Can You Count to a Trillion? (Monday 12th May 2008)Retrieved July 13, 2008 fromhttp:// goldnews . bullionvault .com/us_federal_debt_oil_gold_price_dollar_081220081
  • Facing up to the Nations Finances - About Us (n.d) Retrieved July 11, 2008 fromhttp://www. facingup .org/about-us
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Debt (February 27, 2007) Retrieved July 07, 2008, fromhttp://www. treasurydirect . gov :80/ govt /resources/ faq / faq _ publicdebt . htm
  • HHS: What We Do (March 2008) Retrieved July 13, 2008 fromhttp://www. hhs . gov /about/ whatwedo .html/

22. Bibliography (Contd.)

  • Historical Debt Outstanding Annual (January 31, 2008) Retrieved July 07, 2008 fromhttp://www. treasurydirect . gov / govt /reports/pd/ histdebt / histdebt . htm
  • How to cure recessions and inflations, prevent stagflations and depressions while cutting taxes. The solution for Medicare, Social Security, education, the infrastructure, balanced budget, defense and other problems in the economy (n.d.) Retrieved July 11, 2008 fromhttp://www. rodgermitchell .com/
  • National Debt (2008) Retrieved June 30, 2008, fromhttp://www. microsoftencarta .org/encyclopedia_761562370/National_Debt.html
  • The National Debt is 8.4 Trillion! (n.d.) Retrieved July 11, 2008 fromhttp://www. federalbudget .com/ localdebtfacts .html
  • Statement by Secretary Paulson on Executive Order Concerning Foreign Investment in the United States (January 23, 2008) Retrieved July 12, 2008 fromhttp://www.treas. gov /press/releases/hp768. htm

23. Bibliography (Contd.)

  • Treasury Bulletin (June 2008) Retrieved July 07, 2008, fromhttp://www. fms .treas. gov /bulletin/index.html
  • United States Government Accountability Office: Federal Debt Answers to Frequently Asked Questions An Update(2004) Retrieved July 12, 2008 fromhttp://www. gao . gov /new.items/d04485sp. pdf
  • United States Public Debt (July 12, 2008) Retrieved July 12, 2008 fromhttp://en. wikipedia .org/ wiki /United_States_public_debt#Amount_of_foreign_ownership_of_U.S._debt