We don’t like it. But we won’t deny it. America’s buried itself under an immense pile of public debt over the last 40 years.
Time to grab a shovel and some gloves. There’s plenty of digging out to do. There’s also plenty of opportunity in doing it. We’ll have more on this in a moment. First, the grim facts…
The national debt in 1980 was $908 billion.
Today it’s over $26 trillion.
New debt racked up in June alone – $863 billion – was more than the country added in its first 200 years of existence.
But as the national debt’s been piled on with ever increasing heaps over this time. Economic growth has diminished to near subsistence levels. The progression was gradual at first. Yet over the last two decades the growing burden has become inescapable.
In the 1950s and 1960s, for example, the average GDP growth rate was above 4 percent. Then in the 1970s and 1980s GDP growth declined to around 3 percent, where it held through the 1990s. The 21st century, however, has been characterized by decreasing growth rates. In fact, over the last decade, the average GDP growth rate has been below 2 percent. That’s no joke.
The divergence between increasing debt heaps and diminishing growth has become wider and wider. Whereas the debt to GDP ratio was 32 percent in 1980. Today, it’s 110 percent. Tack on U.S. unfunded liabilities – social security, Medicare Parts A, B, and D, federal debt held by the public, plus federal employee