Years ago, I had a discussion with my uncle concerning the national debt. This would have been in the 80's. My uncle had reached senior management status as a career diplomat and was a really great guy whom I loved and admired.
Anyway, I was fussing and fuming about the debt and the hole we were digging for ourselves and his calm response was, "What does it matter? It's money we owe to ourselves." Pretty much the same thing Tricky Dicky Cheney said. I have also been told that same thing by some senior businessmen and other political insiders, including a U.S. Representative.
The other day, the Walking Man waxed profane on this subject and published this chart, which I unashamedly stole from him.
I know from other sources that these figures are pretty darned accurate and as you can clearly see, the great majority of the national debt is owed to ourselves, not to some foreign debt-mongers who are gonna soon take over and abuse our women and children. Now, I am not suggesting that the debt to ourselves isn't important, in fact, the debt to Social Security and the retirement funds is damned important, but these figures do raise some interesting questions.
First, I would like to know who the 42.2% that comprise U.S. Individuals and Institutions are. I'll wager that at least some of them are the same SOBs who took the TARP money, bought U.S. Securities with it, and then sold them back to the Treasury at a profit. A first class circle jerk. But I imagine the great majority of it is individuals and investment funds who hold U.S. Bonds.
Secondly, it's damned time for the Government to step up and admit that they have squandered the Social Security Trust Fund so-as-to hide the true cost of their boondoggles. I believe the only two presidents I ever heard tell the truth on this issue were Jimmy Carter and Geo W. Bush, as much as I hate to admit the latter.
Now here's the rest of the story.