Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dr. Krugman, "We are not having a debt crisis"

"We are not having a debt crisis". Really??

Interest on the debt currently makes up 6% of the federal budget, call it $227B per year on a $3.6T 2011 annual budget that was $1.9T a mere 12 years ago. It should only be about $2.75T assuming a 3% inflation rate.

Currently interest rates are at historical lows, as Dr. Krugman notes, but it will not always be thus. The 10 year bond currently pays about 1.68%. The long-term average is 5.57 or 3.32 times higher. When rates come back just to the historical average the cost of our debt ASSUMING THE DEBT REMAINS THE SAME, will be about $754B per year...a tad more than the entire current annual Defense Budget.

That additional $527B will come out of the defense or discretionary components of the budget (the rest of the budget, known as entitlements are on autopilot).  The discretionary portion is only 18% of the current budget. Assuming defense remains at its current level it would consume just about all of the discretionary spending that "includes such categories as law enforcement, education, homeland security, environmental protection, transportation, disaster relief, medical research and foreign aid" according to the Concord Coalition.

Don't tell me we don't have a debt crisis.

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