U.S. debt to hit a gnarly 78 percent of GDP in 2014

posted at 3:31 pm on April 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The ongoing Slowest Recovery Ever has had our economy growing at only meager rates, and yet the federal government is about to collect record revenues — but President Obama’s budget is chock full of new ideas for still more taxes and still more government spending. The Office of Management and Budget reports that, under the president’s budget proposal, he’ll become the first-ever president to break the $4 trillion spending mark for a single year. Peachy, right? From the WSJ:

The real news is that his budget ratifies much of the spending increase of the first term and tries to lock it in. He wants the feds to spend $3.78 trillion next year ($11,944 per American), which would still be 22.2% of national output nearly four years into an economic recovery. Before the financial panic in 2008, the government was spending about $1 trillion less, or closer to $2.7 trillion a year and an average of 20% of GDP—and President Bush was no slouch as a spender himself. …

On the other hand, debt held by the public as a share of the economy will continue to climb—to what the White House predicts will be a peak of 78.2% of GDP in 2014. As recently as 2008, U.S. debt was 40.5% of the economy. Mr. Obama has nearly doubled it. (See the nearby chart.) With a modicum of spending restraint and faster growth, the debt burden will start to decline. The danger is that there’s no room to avoid Southern European debt levels if we have another recession or an interest-rate spike.

[image]

What we really need right now is a plan to grow the economy and keep more money in the private sector, but instead we’ve got plans for more infrastructure, college aid, high-speed rail, more fantastical green-energy adventurism, and other “stimuli” along with higher and hidden taxes and no real plans to pay down our debt. Perfect.

Update: That’s about where Speaker Boehner’s head was in his press conference earlier today:


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Has bayam abandoned the thread yet?

rogerb on April 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM

“It’s not 90% yet, so what’s the problem” — bayam

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Who’s ready for beer and Doritos?

BobMbx on April 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

The low information President.

Oil Can on April 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Damn it, Bush! How do you keep doing this even as a private citizen in Dallas?!

Doughboy on April 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Once debt to GDP exceeds 100% the pain is really going to start.

Most governments/economies seem to start falling into the final death spiral around that mark. Some small nations like Jamaica have been able to survive past the 100% mark without default with on-off IMF support (St. Kitts & Nevis had a debt to GDP of about 200% before they finally restructured, see here: http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/2011/06/10/national-debt.html), but our debt is going to be way too big for that. No one, even China, will be able to bail us out.

By 2020 we’ll have definitely defaulted to some degree or else suffered hyperinflation. Heck, I think we stand a very good shot of it happening even before 2016, especially if amnesty is passed.

Doomberg on April 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Ehhhh – a few trillion here, a few trillion there – we’re not even talking real money yet…. (libtards)

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

The majority [permanent] of American voters approve:

We approve

OhEssYouCowboys on April 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I’m actually not for growing the economy while Democrats are in charge.

They’ll just spend us more into Oblivion and put more onerous regulations that can’t be undone into place. They’ve already wiped out an entire coal industry. Well, they’ve wiped out solar, too.

HopeHeFails on April 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

We need a team like Reagan/Thatcher now more than ever.

Before this jug-eared jackass sinks us completely.

UltimateBob on April 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Just let me know when to send in my donation for
the big Party he’s going to throw to celebrate this.

ToddPA on April 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

If that chart doesn’t scare the living daylights out of American’s I don’t know what would? Dang, I feel sorry for our citizens having to pay for bho’s krap!
L

letget on April 11, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I won’t be concerned until the debt reaches 120% of GDP.

hawkeye54 on April 11, 2013 at 3:48 PM

On the other hand, debt held by the public as a share of the economy will continue to climb—to what the White House predicts will be a peak of 78.2% of GDP in 2014

Not a chance. The economyis growing only 2% per year which equals $280B in economic growth. Annual deficits of $1T. That leaves a $720B gap, or a 5% increase in the Debt to GDP ratio PER YEAR!.

Once you hit 90%, there’s no turning the ship around. A Federal debt crisis is inevitable – there is no way to fix it. It just takes longer then most people realize (see Japan although I think they may be in the end game).

This time will be no different.

WisRich on April 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Well at least we know what “progress KY” refers to.

jdkchem on April 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

the first-ever president to break the $4 trillion spending mark for a single year

We’re #1!

– Kiss that, China.

Axe on April 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Not a chance. The economyis growing only 2% per year which equals $280B in economic growth. Annual deficits of $1T. That leaves a $720B gap, or a 5% increase in the Debt to GDP ratio PER YEAR!.

Once you hit 90%, there’s no turning the ship around. A Federal debt crisis is inevitable – there is no way to fix it. It just takes longer then most people realize (see Japan although I think they may be in the end game).

This time will be no different.

WisRich on April 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

So within this term, then?

nobar on April 11, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I don’t know about any of you, but I’d be up for another Memphis soul concert to help ease everyone’s troubled minds.

GhoulAid on April 11, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Time for a summit.
Beer me!

Dexter_Alarius on April 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Stuck on Stupid

txdoc on April 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

the first-ever president to break the $4 trillion spending mark for a single year

We’re #1!

– Kiss that, China.

Axe on April 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Bill Clinton is envious.

I remember during one of his SOTU addresses that his spending proposals totaled $4 trillion. Even those on the left laughed.

It’s not so funny anymore, is it?

UltimateBob on April 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Obama succeeds, apace, at destroying America, with gusto.

The fools are out shopping.

Another Ferris law:

Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against—then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there it that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of lawbreakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.

Schadenfreude on April 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I remember during one of his SOTU addresses that his spending proposals totaled $4 trillion. Even those on the left laughed.
It’s not so funny anymore, is it?

UltimateBob on April 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Their reaction is probably more of a “Wow – we actually did it!! And we used to think this was an impossible goal to reach…”

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

So within this term, then?

nobar on April 11, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Yes, but just that we will hit the point of no return witin his term. It will still take time for the crisis to manifest itself in total.

Just of it this in this terms. We currently have a $720B gap between deficits and GDP gowth. To get the ratio from stop rising, you have to do one of three things.

1. Cut spending by $720B per year but that would also decrease GDP by the same amount sending economy into recession (crazy isn’t it?)

2.increase revenue by $720B through taxes (again killing the economy) or economic growth, or

3. Some combination of both.

Do you see any of those options happening? I don’t.

WisRich on April 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM

The fools are out shopping.
Schadenfreude on April 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Fools shopping? I’ve been doing a lot more shopping at gun stores lately. Seems to me like a very sensible thing to do.

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

On the other hand, debt held by the public as a share of the economy will continue to climb—to what the White House predicts will be a peak of 78.2% of GDP in 2014. As recently as 2008, U.S. debt was 40.5% of the economy. Mr. Obama has nearly doubled it. (See the nearby chart.) With a modicum of spending restraint and faster growth , the debt burden will start to decline.

Two qualifying phrases which make economic disaster a certainty.

ROCnPhilly on April 11, 2013 at 4:06 PM

We’re #1!

– Kiss that, China.

Axe on April 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I dunno, China’s working hard to “beat” us at the debt game too: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-11/true-chinese-credit-bubble-240-gdp-and-soaring

Doomberg on April 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I dunno, China’s working hard to “beat” us at the debt game too: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-11/true-chinese-credit-bubble-240-gdp-and-soaring

Doomberg on April 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

NO! NO!

Axe on April 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Damn it, Bush! How do you keep doing this even as a private citizen in Dallas?!

Doughboy on April 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Bush and his party and more to blame than you realize.

rickv404 on April 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM

So if the entire world is drowning in debt… who is all of this money owed to? I mean… who’s the great creditor nation or group of people that have the money to lend?

Vanceone on April 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Good Damn President….

Sincerely,
52% Libtard Nation

hillsoftx on April 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM

HEY ERIKA !!!!!
.
.
.
Down here in the peanut gallery
.
.
How is it that the FOMC minutes get leaked to 12 banks, a hedge fund, law firms, etc 24 hours early …

… which is a Federal Crime, by the way …

… and Hot Air does not DEIGN to even post in the last 24 hours an article documenting this act of CRIMINAL CAPITALISM ???

Are too many of the GOPe and GOPe-media getting this same inside information and therefore IT DIDN’T HAPPEN?

These 12 Banks Got the Fed Minutes a Day EarlyPublished: Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 | 4:46 PM ET
By: John Carney
Senior Editor, CNBC.com

It wasn’t just Capitol Hill staffers and trade groups that received the Federal Reserve minutes a day early. Many banks and other financial institutions also got an early look at the minutes.

A list of recipients obtained by CNBC reveals that at least 12 banks, a Wall Street law firm, a hedge fund and a private equity fund were on the distribution list that got the minutes early.
The banks included Fifth Third, Citigroup, UBS, Barclays, U.S. Bancorp, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, HSBC, BNP Paribas, BB&T, JPMorgan Chase and PNC.

Sullivan & Cromwell, one of the most powerful Wall Street law firms, also got the email.

The email was also sent to King Street Capital Management, a hedge fund with $20 billion under management, and private equity firms The Carlyle Group and The Cypress Group.

Trade groups on the list included The American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Association of Realtors.

The lobbying firms Rich Feuer Anderson and Roberts Raheb Gradler also received the email, as did The Inter Continental Exchange and the European Central Bank.

PolAgnostic on April 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

By the time the Community Organizer is done, we’ll be well over 100% of GDP.

GarandFan on April 11, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Wait, can I see your numbers? I’ll show you mine.

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

Total Public Debt Outstanding: 16,798,984,234,792.33

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-10/obama-proposes-3-77-trillion-budget-to-revive-debt-talks.html

The amount of debt held by the public is estimated at 76.6 percent of the $16.2 trillion U.S. economy this year

Now I can pull out my calculator if you like, but 16.8 is NOT going to be 76.6% of 16.2… that’s TOTAL public debt outstanding; from a government source, with a link.. including intragovernmental holdings (the site clarifies this).

Is he pretending intragovernemtnal debt won’t have to be paid? He must be… That 12 Trillion would be 3/4 of 16 trillion so it matches the math he’s trying to do…

How do you plan to pay Social Security and Medicare if you don’t honor those debts as they’re both in the red and drawing on their debt… more every year?

If you’re not going to be honest about what the problem is; don’t expect me to have any faith that you can fix it.

gekkobear on April 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Buy stock in whomever we’re buying ink from for the currency plants.

Ward Cleaver on April 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

All part of Dear Liar’s plan – crash the economy, and then rebuild it as a Socialist Utopia.

Ward Cleaver on April 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

there should be a way to impeach a sitting preezy (or simply remove him/her from office for incompetence), if the debt gets at dangerously high levels like these…anything over 60% of the GDP is dangerous territory…

jimver on April 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

there should be a way to impeach a sitting preezy (or simply remove him/her from office for incompetence), if the debt gets at dangerously high levels like these

Even if a president could be impeached for this, never gonna happen with Dingy Harry and the dems controlling the Senate. It would end there. Even if the GOP managed to secure majority in both the House and Senate, it wouldn’t attempt a move for impeachment. Racist, you know. A charge like that would be a bruising blow to the GOPs self esteem.

hawkeye54 on April 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

This is terrible news. Its even worse when I read it from my new cellphone Hot Air app….

Nethicus on April 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Racist, you know. A charge like that would be a bruising blow to the GOPs self esteem.

hawkeye54 on April 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

which we wouldn’t want for the GOP :-)….

jimver on April 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Er… federal debt is just 78% of GDP if you don’t count the money we owe ourselves – the IOU’s in Social Security, for example.

GDP is right at $16 Trillion. The national debt is $16.8 Trillion. Assuming only one math, that makes the national debt 105% of GDP.

Right now.

And don’t even look into unfunded liabilities, where honest accounting would require us to put away several Trillion dollars every year for future payments already promised that we simply aren’t and can’t pay into.

There is an enormous gap between what we can have and what we think we’re entitled to. That gap will increasingly be filled with the raw printing of unbacked currency. $800 Billion printed last year, $1 Trillion to be printed this year… the experiment seems to be working. Keep sharpening your shears, sheep. Your overlords demand it.

shuzilla on April 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

shuzilla on April 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

.
Unfunded libilities over the next 30 years from local, state and federal governments total …

$ 200+ trillion

PolAgnostic on April 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

S.R.E.

superdave on April 11, 2013 at 6:05 PM

shuzilla on April 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

.
Unfunded libilities over the next 30 years from local, state and federal governments total …

$ 200+ trillion

PolAgnostic on April 11, 2013 at 6:01 PM

State, County and City unfunded liabilities are so loaded up with crap that I just don’t care what they are. Some of them have such lavish pensions that they can be haircut 75% and still be well off. 100% paid medical care for all retirees for the rest of their life? No!

Not one red cent of federal money should go to them. Let’s worry about federal only.

slickwillie2001 on April 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Unfunded libilities over the next 30 years from local, state and federal governments total …

$ 200+ trillion

And every level of government is acting like the crew of the Titanic, after hitting the iceberg, reassured by the captain’s insistence of the impossibility of sinking, calmly rearranging the deck chairs as the lower decks flood.

hawkeye54 on April 11, 2013 at 6:28 PM

To any thinking person, it is clear the political policies of the ruling class and the obstinate, willful stupidity of the average American have driven our economy way past the point of no return. In cartoon terms, we are between the point Wyle E. Coyote disappears and the puff of smoke.

We’d best develop an alternative monetary/barter system quick.

ROCnPhilly on April 11, 2013 at 8:39 PM

GDP is right at $16 Trillion. The national debt is $16.8 Trillion. Assuming only one math, that makes the national debt 105% of GDP.
Right now.
shuzilla on April 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

That took me back as well. I see they key phrase is debt “held by the public”. In other words, $5T of the $17T of our national debt is borrowed from “intergovernmental holdings” (Medicare Trust Fund, the Social Security Trust Fund, and Federal Financing Bank securities, etc…)

I don’t know why the WSJ would use the turm “public debt” rather than “federal debt” other than to make it look smaller. After all, the $5T that the federal government will have to pay back to itself will eventually come from the public anyway.

elfman on April 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

turm = term

elfman on April 11, 2013 at 10:27 PM

I thought we hit 100% last year?? I’m sure there’s some semantics or budgetary acrobatics to explain it, but please clarify!

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hu18Ed3hBnAs9vVR8e7oDqOHn_gg

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/total-us-debt-soars-1015-gdp

waringrt on April 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Nevermind… should have read all the comments. My bad.

waringrt on April 12, 2013 at 9:57 AM