Chart of the Week: Each American’s Share of Debt Is Skyrocketing
T. Elliot Gaiser /
As the nation pushes into another debt ceiling debate, an AP-GfK poll released last week found that 39 percent of Americans think any debt ceiling increase should come with a serious plan to reduce spending. Another 21 percent believe that the ceiling should not be raised at all.
The poll also found that only 30 percent of Americans agreed with President Obama’s demand to raise the ceiling without addressing spending at the same time. The other 70 percent must be onto something: Washington is spending too much and racking up debt at an unsustainable rate.
More Americans are starting to realize the truth illustrated by this week’s chart: that each person’s share of the debt is $36,267, or slightly more than the cost of a brand new 2013 Ford Mustang GT.
Put another way, each person’s debt burden is more than the average cost of a private four-year college degree, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Without a plan to address spending, the projected growth in debt will surge exponentially, leaving every individual in the United States responsible for $135,547 each by 2036. That’s about the cost of a newly minted 2014 Maserati Quattroporte with a Ferrari-built V8 engine.
That reality spells a bleak future for today’s children and grandchildren, who will be stuck footing the bill of Congress’ present inaction and the President’s lack of leadership in cutting spending.
As The Heritage Foundation’s Alison Fraser writes, “The debt limit is a necessary instrument that forces Congress and the President to examine fiscal policy and determine whether it is affordable and sustainable.”
Clearly our current path is unsustainable. That is why conservatives must utilize this debt ceiling debate to propose a credible plan that puts the country on a path toward a balanced budget.