John Ransom
Tg7211 wrote: The old days are done, we were never meant to be a superpower with complete hegemony, we are not the conquering types, besides its a bad deal for everyone for any country to have that kind of power. Our future existence as a nation depends on our ability to cooperate not mandate, so get over it, and shoot yourself now so we can throw your gun away, or stop being so afraid of the world that you need a bazillion dollar military to make you feel safe. The Danger of Maxine Waters Running The Banks Is Real

Dear Comrade 7211,

We don’t have a bazillion dollar military. Defense spending only accounted for about 24% of budget outlays in the peak year of 2012. This year it will account for 4% of GDP.And just as a comparison, the United States spends 18% of its GDP --and growing -- on healthcare. Even if you were to cut military expenditures in half, the money allocated to other areas would be a drop in the bucket in comparison to the problem that we have with interest, pensions and healthcare coming due shortly.

Let’s look at interest on the national debt for example.

“In its annual Budget and Economic Outlook,” writes CBSNews, “the CBO said debt held by the public will be bigger by 2023 than in any year since 1951 and will be at 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, far above the 40-year average of 39 percent of GDP. As a result, the CBO report said, the federal government’s interest costs ‘will be very high’ and will be rising. Interest costs will more than double by the end of the ten-year forecasting period.”

The CBO projects that interest rates on the Ten-Year Treasury Note will rise from 2.9 percent currently, to 5.2 percent in 2017.

In December of last year, the Treasury Department reported that total interest bearing debt owed by the government carried an interest rate of 2.523 percent. Last year’s interest payments on that debt totaled $360 billion. If interest rates overall reflect the CBO’s forecast for the benchmark, interest rates payments alone will reach one trillion dollars by 2017.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.