Have We Become a Nation Full of Deadbeats?by Gerri Willis
Are we a nation of deadbeats? The President says no.
“The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills. We are not a deadbeat nation.”
Au contraire, Pierre.
The evidence would seem to prove that we aren't that far from being the next Greece, Spain, or Italy.
Take first and foremost, our nation's total debt: $16.4 trillion- your share of that debt? More than $52,000.
Annual Federal deficits of $1 trillion and more each year, for 4 years.
If that's not convincing enough, consider household debt.
According to MarketWatch, Americans have walked away from $585 billion in mortgage, credit card, and other forms of personal debt over the last five years.
That's another $6,000 dollars per household.
And while Americans have been whittling away at household debt- cutting 7% from the whopping $13.8 trillion tab we owed 5 years ago - our debts are still more than they were at the peak of the bubble in 2006.
In fact, much of the debt relief comes from loan write-offs.
According to the Federal Reserve, of the total $954 billion in debt reduction, $585 billion, or 60% came from loan write-offs. An astonishing track record.
That's $3 in debt for every $2 we've paid off.
Corporations are guilty too.
Companies have defaulted on $35 to $40 billion in debt in recent years.
So, for all the fun we've made of Greece, Italy, and Spain for all their debt problems, we're not in a much better position.
In fact, you could say we're worse because it seems we just haven't come to grips with our debt.
Acknowledging the problem is the first step to fixing it, and we have a long way to go.