My advice for the GOP: No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more putting the pretense of civility above the best interests of the nation. Democrats are playing cynical games with our national debt crisis, and it's time they were called out on them -- directly, volubly and repeatedly. Senate Democrats haven?t passed their own budget plan in more than two years, despite having strong control of that body. Meanwhile, the nation is teetering on bankruptcy.
I don't make that statement lightly. Our national debt is $14.3 trillion, and our federal deficit is $1.65 trillion. This might be less shocking but for the facts that our projected annual deficits as long as Obama is in charge average $1 trillion, and our unfunded entitlements exceed $88 trillion.
Just yesterday I read two shocking articles comparing the debt picture of the United States to that of Greece. The mere thought that our situations are remotely comparable should send us into anxiety attacks.
In one of those articles, Michael Tanner, in National Review Online, asks, 'Which country is in worse fiscal condition -- Greece or the United States?' Brace yourselves. This year, says Tanner, Greece's budget deficit will be 9.5 percent of its gross domestic product. (Last year, it was 15 percent.) Its national debt will exceed 150 percent of GDP by year's end. When you factor in its future unfunded pension liabilities, its debt exceeds 875 percent of GDP, meaning that the debt is almost nine times greater than the value of the nation?s total annual economic production. Wow.
Surely the United States doesn?t even approach such frightening levels. After all, aren't these allusions to Greece just the stuff of fear-mongers like that outrageous meanie Paul Ryan? Well, let's take a look.
This year, our deficit is estimated to be 10.8 percent of GDP -- 1.3 percent higher than that of Greece. Our national debt, as mentioned above, is $14.3 trillion, which is not quite 100 percent of our GDP -- just 98 percent. So in this category, Greece 'beats' us, though by 2020, we are scheduled to reach those Greek levels. More significantly, when you include our unfunded entitlement liabilities, which exceed 900 percent of our GDP, we put Greece to shame again. Hurray!
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