Our country is in denial
People sometimes accuse me of being negative. I see myself as a positive person. But I have learned as a family therapist that denial and family secrets lead to depression and dysfunction in families. So, part of my role is to help families discover and confront the truth of their situations so they can survive and prosper. It is an arduous process but it is the only way for families to grow.
Since I am a systems thinker I see the same process of uncovering denial as essential for community restoration too. Our national community is in trouble and it is far worse than people understand.
This is from a guy named Bob Adelman who writes for the New American:
“Unfortunately, all the discussions and debates taking place in Washington about how to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff crisis miss the point entirely because they are based on the mis-perception that the national debt is $16 trillion. In reality, the national debt, when all the promises that the government has made to everyone — China, Japan, the Social Security trust fund, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, federal employee health and retirement benefits, healthcare and retirement benefits to veterans — are added up, exceeds $200 trillion, nearly 14 times larger than the amount to which Washington is willing to admit.In that context, all the conversation and “serious debate” taking place in Washington is now seen for what it really is: tinkering and fiddling and posturing, while ignoring the elephant in the living room — the real national debt.
Professor of economics at Boston University Laurence Kotlikoff did the math and concluded that the truth is far worse…. The truth is that our politicians have been very careful in their labeling of government receipts and payments so as to keep most of the coming bills … off the books….I recently calculated the fiscal gap [which] measures the present value difference between all projected future federal expenditures (including interest) and all projected future values.The fiscal gap is thus the true measure of our government’s total indebtedness….How big is the fiscal gap?
Brace yourself: It’s $222 trillion.
Worse than that, it’s growing by $11 trillion every year. That’s 10 times larger than the perceived, assumed, “official” annual deficit over which Washington is currently wringing its hands.”