Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

United States will default

By
From page A6 | December 17, 2013 | 1 Comment

Many will see the headline of this letter and believe it refers to some failed negotiations in Congress. Clearly, Congress is dysfunctional and hopelessly gridlocked. However, I believe they will always be able to produce some 11th-hour, do-nothing, time-buying agreement, no matter how dire things may appear.

No, they won’t “allow” the default to happen. What I’m talking about are the hopeless trends of the imbalance between revenue and spending, and the lack of the will or discipline to do anything about it. Add to that a demographic-destabilizing money-hungry monster rolling down the tracks and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.

First, take a look at the history of U.S. annual deficits. During the 1980s and ’90s, the trend was an approximate increase of $1 trillion every five years. As scary as that sounds, our average deficits for the past five years have averaged more than $1 trillion a year. If you look over the history of the U.S. debt, there are frightfully few years where we’ve managed to push it back slightly. Now, we face a $17 trillion debt.

Here is what is working against us making any headway on that: 1) The economy is on life support (unprecedented rates of money printing — $3 billion a day), and still is incredibly sluggish with no real trend toward growth, and 2) We have a huge swelling in the demographic (us baby-boomers) who soon will be putting a huge stress on Social Security and Medicare. Both of these programs recently crossed the neutral line so that they are spending more than they are taking in, and that trend will continue to ramp up fast. Different estimates exist as to their sustainability but all of them look bad.

So, when will we default? That part is hard to say. It depends on when our creditors wise up and realize that we can’t pay it back. What will default look like? Also, hard to say. We could print money and pay it back, killing the value of the currency, which is effectively, though not technically default.

I believe the most likely scenario (also not technically default) is to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits suddenly and severely. Call them death panels if you wish, or something more palatable if it suits you. The baby boomers probably will be the ones who will feel the default.

Greg Johnson

Davis

Letters to the Editor

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • December 17, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Hmmm, I can think of soooooo many other things to cut, like the bloated military, congressional retirements & perks, ...maybe even congress itself when one thinks of the do nothing behavior demonstrated by both our elected officials, and the president. Cutting S.S. & Medicare falls right in line with the history of the USA, balancing the budget on the backs of the working class and the poorer among us. Empires rise & Empires fall....mostly for the same reasons.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Food insecurity remains an issue for many county residents

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
4-H members prepare for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6