Well, its all about the money, money spent against money brought in to pay for what is spent, plus, we need debt to fuel the economy, it is called, "inflation".
Worse, this is current account stuff, the debt is used mostly to pay for operations not otherwise funded and is not used to investment that would otherwise provide a return, which, is why private finance is usually better at providing for growth and jobs than are governments and government projects.
So, where has the $17 trillion or so gone? Good question.
And yes, a lot of it went for defense and wars, which is traditionally why governments' borrow. And a lot of went to pay for services and benefits not otherwise funded, that is, the general tax revenue and borrowing made whatever congress approved and the president signed happen; welfare is just one of those benefits, disaster relief, running the national parks and monuments, farm subsidies...and the list goes on.
The most interesting think about the American national debt is that is mostly owned by the American people. The borrowing has come from the surplus cash held in national trust accounts, primarily Social Security funds. Debt held by foreigners, both governments and private institutions and people is a fraction of the overall debt held. However, recently more of the debt has been held by foreigners as safe havens and currency reserves in that the dollar is the most liquid and stable of what is available in the world markets and as such the basis of international trade and the financial system.
With the sequester and the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts, in the intermediate time period, that is for the next decade or so, the percentage of debt to expenditures including mandatory benefits, should stay the same. However, with the change in demographics as the population ages and moves onto Social Security and Medicare, the debt will come due to pay for what has been promised. Sorry kids and your kids' kids, you are going to pay for this.
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. From Sen Obama's floor speech March 20 2006
The question is what has changed? Why is it okay now to put the burden of bad choices on our children and grandchildren? We will soon be over $17 trillion in debt, Maybe the debt is only bad when Bush added to it, even though Obama has added more in 5 years than Bush added in 8. Go figure.
you are always doing this...conveniently forgetting facts and cherrypicking those you present..first of all bush came in and had surpluses the first two years due to the clinton administration and it's policies....then the deficits showed up and began to rise with the wars...and remember the privatizing of the wars was an attempt to keep the real costs off the books....even so he managed to accrue over 2 trillion dollars in deficits (adjusted to 2012 dollars)and the deficits did not begin with bush...reagan added the modern equivalent of 3 and a quarter TRILLION in deficits, all while blathering about balanced budgets and fiscal conservatism .....deficits don't belong to either party, period. deficits are not good but then they have to be viewed in their historical context. fdr ran deficits...would it have been better to balance the budget and we could all be speaking german and goosestepping now? obama came into office during the greatest recession since the great depression. just how would you have him NOT add to the deficits when recessions cause drops in revenue to both merchants and the government and in this case huge drops in revenue all the while supporting troops in iraq and afghanistan, bailing out the banks (via tarpa which was actually a bush initiative that was carried forward to the obama administrations books since the budget is a year forward). you really have to stop looking at life thru such a simplistic lens
I enjoy simplifying complex issues. It brings clarity. The question, which you choose to not answer PA is what has changed from when then Senator Obama called what Bush did unpatriotic.
Now if you want to discuss deficits and who has added to them, that's a different issue. Why not try and simplify and just stick to the question?
because the questions are not simple except to the simpleminded...just where would you cut the government to eliminate the deficits? please give examples and amounts involved.
this may be a long time since the answers to questions like these are usually in the vein of "oh i'm not the president. i just like to piss and moan about him" so ....
Look who is talking about "Leadership Failure" after Cheney/Bush43, the GOP hopefuls for President 2012, the Tea Party vs. Little Johnny Boner. Hilarious criticism.
You're full of it, base - To you, "simplifying" actually means cold-blooded lying, re-writing history until it lines up with Limbaugh hysterics and distorting cold hard facts.
Obama has actually added NOTHING to the deficit - It's shrunk by more than HALF since he took office. (Yeah, he spent a couple of your precious tax dollars on some other American citizens who you don't like - Welcome to the last seventy years of American history.) But you can, you know, just happily rock back and forth with your head up yer butt as you please, rubbing filthy old copies of "The Economist" all over your body and moaning in orgiastic pleasure - It's still a free country, after all, despite the "muslim darkie socialist baby-eatin' Kenyan's" best efforts. You just stay tuned to FAUXNews and the other mainstream media that keep telling you the lies you want to hear....