http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/debt-377298-government-tri...If you add up the total debt – state, local, the works – every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Lichtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama's second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election – that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it's time to do something about it.My Hillsdale College comrade Paul Rahe, while accepting much of my thesis, thought that, as an effete milquetoast pantywaist sissified foreigner, I had missed a vital distinction. As he saw it, you can take the boy out of Canada but you can't take the Canada out of the boy. I had failed to appreciate that Americans were not Euro-Canadians, and would not go gently into the statist night. But, as I note in my book, "a determined state can change the character of a people in the space of a generation or two." Tuesday's results demonstrate that, as a whole, the American electorate is trending very Euro-Canadian. True, you still have butch T-shirts – "Don't Tread On Me," "These Colors Don't Run"... In my own state, where the Democrats ran the board on Election Night, the "Live Free Or Die" license plates look very nice when you see them all lined up in the parking lot of the Social Security office. thethingaboutunsustainabilityis...The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn't need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn't need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and, in return, grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every $1 of economic growth the United States had to borrow about $5.60. There's no one out there on the planet – whether it's "the rich" or the Chinese – who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, US government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve – which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It's government as a Nigerian email scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator's widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she's willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank account details.If that's all a bit too technical, here's the gist: There's nothing holding the joint up.--------------------------------------------------May you live in interesting times.
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