The nation is in the debt of two former influential U.S. House members for their chilling essay which appears in the nation's leading financial newspaper of November 27, "Why $16 trillion (the current national debt that is on the books) Only Hints at the U.S. Debt."
The authors note that the $600 billion effect of the impending "fiscal cliff" is nothing compared to the unfunded promises made by our government that do not appear in any public statement of liabilities, and which is estimated to be $86.8 trillion and increasing by $7 trillion per year ($7 trillion is more than all of the income earned in the nation per annum).
I fear that even if those whom we have placed in positions of authority were listening, that the alarm is being sounded at the point at which our fiscal "house" is already fully engulfed in flames.
As the authors note, we cannot tax our way out of the hole we and our elected officials have dug. Radical action would be necessary to address the problem and the current crop of incompetent grandstanders in Congress has neither the ability nor the desire to undertake such remedies.
Our people have been conditioned to expect the government to take care of them from cradle to grave. What would the response be when we reach the point at which the house of cards collapses, when the government can no longer write checks with borrowed money to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food, housing, and social services, and when it can no longer guarantee mortgages of those that would not qualify to purchase a home without government backing of the loan? What do we do when the American currency is no longer the world's leader, when we can borrow no more, and the stock market collapses?
The wisest men and women in the world would have the challenge of a lifetime on their hands to address the ticking time bomb of government spending and unsustainable promises. The fact that we have so few such individuals in public service renders our plight catastrophic.