On Tuesday the U.S. government debt limit was officially raised. This obviously could have and should have been avoided by proper actions by Congress and all of the presidents since at least Lyndon Johnson.
When I graduated from high school in 1970, my share of the debt was $6,291. Now, just 41 years later, I owe $31,871. Both amounts are valued in 2010 dollars. Other estimates would say about $46,000 already. This is five times higher or worse despite the fact that our population has grown from 205 million to 311 million in the same timeframe.
According to Census Bureau and Congressional Budget Office estimates, my debt will likely be more than $103,000 by age 80 and $206,000 by age 92 unless things change. This counts no increase due to inflation, just good old-fashioned doubling and quadrupling.
In the past 40-plus years, we have declared cold wars, hot wars, wars on poverty, drugs, pollution and global warming. These figures show the progression of revenues and spending for these four decades:
Fiscal year 1970 – $193 billion in spending, $195 billion in revenue.
1980 – $591 billion in spending, $517 billion in revenue.
1990 – $1.253 trillion in spending, $1.032 trillion in revenue.
2000 – $1.789 trillion in spending, $2.026 trillion in revenue.
2010 – $3.456 trillion in spending, $2.162 trillion in revenue.