Tag Archives: National Debt

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Where is America’s Debt? Foreign Held Treasuries – Infographic

America’s collective debt, also called the national debt or the public debt, represents the money that the U.S. government owes to the owners of debt instruments that are issued by the U.S. treasury. There are several types of debt instruments issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. All of these items are collectively called treasuries.

America has always had debt. Since the 18th century, the country has carried a load of debt that has fluctuated with the political and social climate of the day. In 1860, America’s debt was $65 million. The Civil War brought about a major spike in the debt. World War I and World War II also brought about major rises in the debt. The latest American debt numbers have put it at its steepest numbers since the debt level spiked during World War II.

America’s debt, as owed to foreign nations, has been rising steadily over the years. The gross debt in trillions of U.S. dollars was about $10 trillion in 1940. In 1950, it had risen to about $18 trillion. After falling for a few decades, it began rising again in the late 1980s. In 2009, America’s debt was again up to $18 trillion. It is projected to continue to rise over the next few years. By 2011 it is projected to be about $20 trillion. The projected amount of American debt in the next few years equals 100 percent of the U.S. GDP.

Foreign Held Treasury Securities in U.S. Dollars

China holds $798.9 billion in American debt. Japan holds $746.5 billion in U.S. debt. The U.K. holds $230.7 billion of the U.S. debt. Brazil holds $156.2 billion in U.S. debt. Hong Kong has $142.0 billion of the American debt. Russia has $122.5 billion of American debt. Luxemburg holds $90.8 billion of the American debt. Taiwan has $78.7 billion of America’s debt. Switzerland owns $71.5 billion of America’s debt. Germany holds $52.8 billion in American debt.

South Korea has $42.2 billion of the U.S. debt. Canada has $40.8 billion in American debt. Ireland has $38.3 billion in U.S. debt. France has $36.2 billion in U.S. debt. Singapore has $35.2 billion of the U.S. debt. India owns $32.9 billion of the American debt. Turkey owns $30.4 billion of the U.S. debt. Thailand holds $30.1 billion in U.S. debt. Norway holds $24.9 billion in American debt. Mexico holds $20.7 billion of U.S. debt…Read More

Source: VE Visual Economics

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Medicaid cuts force hospitals onto auction block – MarketWatch

Medicaid cuts force hospitals onto auction block – MarketWatch.

This only opens the door for a grim look into the nations health care system and people’s worries in the future. Combining the dots in the cuts in health care and the consequences for people should make people think. In the big picture, there is no way we are saving anything with health care cuts. While Medicaid and health care related budgets might, maybe, be “balanced”, we are opening up  bottomless pits in other social services, from welfare to law enforcement. Much worse outcomes not even considered.

This is the United States of America, why again is health care not a right?

Why the U.S. is unable to follow a good example to accomplish debt reduction and prosperity

Following the daily news regarding debt reduction is a nerve racking event these days. Congress and administration beat each other in political gambling on the expense of the American people. Both have their interests and are fighting hard to come through with their agenda. Armadas of lobbyists, mainly on the republican side, are crowding the internet message boards and are promoting interests. For Main Street America there is nothing left than sit tight and wait. What will it be? Reduced medical services? Cut in Social Security? Tax breaks for the rich? Cut in government spending? Tax increase for the rich and corporate? Raising the debt limit? Improving infrastructure in order to be competitive? Programs for better education and workforce? Anything else?

Last week President Obama entertained visitors from Germany. While it is unusual for America to take a look at what others do, this time it seemed the German model caught some interest in the political writer scene and amongst economists (see link below). Taking a look at the last 20 years, it became clear that the Germans faced some of the challenges we currently deal with here in the United States. Infrastructure round up in Eastern Germany after the iron curtain fell, immigration issues for the same reason plus several wars in Europe and elsewhere, a spoiled population with no need to work, Germany being one of the biggest welfare states in the world. Looking at these problems and others and seeing what the Germans did, one is wondering on whether German measures could be used in the U.S..

The quick answer is no, unfortunately not. Political system differences (only two parties), different party donation rules, different take on the government’s job and, I am afraid to say, a lesser politically and generally educated population in the U.S. make it impossible to adapt the German program here in the United States.

With only two parties and the current “donation rules”, political decisions and actions are always in danger of being “bought out” by lobbyists. Donating $260,000 to one party and $240,000 to the other, as it commonly happens, can have an influence on political decisions. The winner of any election is barely the man of the entire population. Nearly the half of the population is always in opposition. In Germany, coalitions form the government and represent more interests of the people. Many Americans argue that the government needs to stay out of everything and “markets” need to do the sorting out. In Germany the government is seen, and is, the balance between different sides, regulating and steering politics and business. Some in the United States, “educated” by certain groups sound bites, would call such as “socialist”, “communist” or “liberal”, without knowing what the words actually mean. Many European countries have also understood, that certain groups of the population need help and support, for various reasons and that such support actually pays off. While the Germans have cut down on this support over the past ten years, those that now say “aha, here we go, the freebies have to go”, need to understand that, even with cutting down services, Germany’s social services still beat American social services, including health care, by far.

U.S. politicians need to find the right mix in their negotiations for debt reduction and prosperity, matching the people’s need. The priority in all discussions should be people. America needs tax income, more of it. That can only be accomplished when jobs will be created and taxes will be increased for the rich and corporate. There is nothing wrong with tax decreases for those groups. As a matter of fact, this is a must happen, but only after delivering their “social services”, jobs and investments. If the tax decreases are given before, the money goes somewhere else.

America is on the brink of financial default. It is important that those in Washington understand what their responsibility is. A good poker game is a good thing, gambling with your peoples lives, is not.

The German Example