At the turn of this century, the American national debt stood at just under $6 trillion and the deficit at a "mere" $86 billion. Today, the national debt has topped $15 trillion, and the yearly deficit for 2012 is projected at a whopping $1.2 trillion. This new, second edition of Deficits: Why Should I Care? updates all the statistics, charts, and forecasts, while adding a new chapter on how global economies now, for better or worse, affect the U.S. debt and the annual budget deficit. It also includes a new appendix detailing how the U.S. political parties view the debt issue.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department's Annual Report on the Public Debt, the debt is estimated to hit $19.6 trillion by 2015. The federal government has borrowed roughly 40 percent of its total budget for the last several years, a trend that could leave the U.S. in an economic crisis. Astronomical interest payments, a debt burden to your children and grandchildren, and an increased reliance on foreign creditors are just a few of the problems. Although the U.S. has experienced soaring unemployment, stagnant production, and a crippled housing market, foremost on many economists' minds are rising deficits and ballooning debt. Others feel fears of the national debt are overblown or pale in comparison to today's economic problems.
This clear, concise book will give you the need-to-know on the debt. You will learn:
How to calculate deficits and the national debt
The history of U.S debt and its recent unparalleled growth over the years
How and why the government borrows money
The economic arguments for, and against, accruing a debt
Could we become like Greece if we don't cut our deficit?
The impact of the debt on interest rates and inflation
The impact of the debt on the value of the dollar and U.S. economic power
This book also answers key questions: Can the government go bankrupt? Why have there seemingly been no repurcussions of the large debt to date and is that likely to change? When the interest on the debt becomes higher than the revenue of the government, what happens? And many more practical insights into the government debt controversy. Business professionals, parents, retirees, and students are all concerned about the debt. This quick read will provide an understanding of the ramifications of the rising debt and what the consequences may be.
What you'll learn
Why the debt now could be a problem when people have been crying wolf about it for for the last 40 years
How the world economy affects the U.S. debt and deficit
What the government can do to reduce the debt and the implications—especially for such programs as Medicare and Social Security
The long-term implications of the debt
Methods and tactics for balancing the budget
When accruing a debt makes sense and when it does not
Action steps for monitoring the debt
Who this book is for
Deficit: Why Should I Care? is written for the busy business professional, concerned parent, retired worker, or student. While academic and theoretical texts on the subject lack brevity, this book will help you understand the seriousness of the debt issue in a clear, concise format. This work has been condensed into eight need-to-know chapters, each containing the key points necessary for understanding this complex economic issue affecting the economic future of all Americans. Whether you are a businessperson concerned about the economy, a parent anxious about the debt burden of your children and grandchildren, a retiree fretful about programs like Social Security, or a student who needs additional information to supplement a textbook, this is the book for you. The appendix provides a website selection covering government agencies, economic sources, and academic sites to assist you in finding the most up-to-date information on the debt drama.