$17 Trillion U.S. National Debt? Try $211 Trillion
Monday, 23 September 2013
Gold is finding support by the increasing consensus that the current Federal Reserve Vice Chair, Janet Yellen, will take over from Bernanke. Gold got a boost Thursday after a senior White House official’s remarked that Yellen is a leading candidate to replace Bernanke when he steps down.
Yellen, a strong supporter of Bernanke’s policies, should keep U.S. interest rates low for an extended period of time and she is very dovish, contrary to recent revisionism.
The U.S. national debt continues to surge higher every day and is now at $16.95 trillion and will soon surpass the $17 trillion mark.
When Standard & Poor’s reduced the U.S.’s credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, it was the first time the U.S. ever suffered a downgrade to its credit rating. The S&P took this action despite the plan Congress passed last week to raise the debt limit.
The downgrade, S&P said, “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”
It’s those medium- and long-term debt problems that also worry economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, who served as a senior economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He says the national debt, which the U.S. Treasury has accounted at about $14 trillion, is just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have all these unofficial debts that are massive compared to the official debt,” Kotlikoff tells David Greene, guest host of weekends on All Things Considered. “We’re focused just on the official debt, so we’re trying to balance the wrong books.”