Correcting for 40 Years of Under Taxing and War

To be blunt a correction needs to be made for what has happened over the last 40 years.  We need to deter this cycle from occurring for the next 40 years.  The promises of increased growth to pay for these tax cuts never came true and the fortunes created as a result of these tax cuts are not just.  The debt that has incurred never went to some foreign entity we now owe our labor too; it went to the top of the income ladder.  We have yet to seriously address tax issues to the increased efforts in the middle east which have cost $6.4 trillion according to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs “United States Budgetary Costs   and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars through FY2020: $6.4        Trillion.” [8]

If for example if we took $5 Trillion of the $36 Trillion in net worth of the 1%, we wouldn’t force them to sell things and crash markets.  Their most liquid assets would just go to our treasury.  Their stocks, bonds, and real estate would be assets of the treasury.  US treasury bonds would obviously just be zeroed out.  The treasury can manage the assets as it sees fit from there. 

Invoice Coming Due

  • Reagan Tax Cuts $7.1 Trillion
  • Clinton Discount $-1.9 Trillion
  • Bush Tax Cuts $2.1 Trillion
  • Middle East Wars $6.4 Trillion
  • Wall Street Bailout $0.7 Trillion
  • Trump Corporate Tax Cuts: Tab Ongoing

US Debt Clock

  • $23 Trillion in January 2020 (prior to coronavirus)
  • $187k per taxpayer?
  • …depends on how much you think the 1% owe from their $36 trillion in assets

Alternatively, if we actually collected all the taxes owed to the treasury each year and the tax gap was 0 instead of ~2-3% of GDP, the debt would be near 0… 2-3% x 40 years is 80-120% of GDP.

Better rules need to be put in place for government borrowing at federal, state and local levels since it is an obvious temptation and laws and rules are meant to combat temptations.


8. Neta C. Crawford, Watson Institute, Brown University. United States Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post 9/11 Wars through FY 2020: $6.4 Trillion. November 13, 2019.

Is the USA Broke?

We are not more or less poor because we under tax ourselves, in fact the economy doesn’t really care as long as the government keeps spending.  The economy only knows who is spending not who is acquiring assets and who is acquiring debt.  As long as the government spends the same and goes into debt and the rich keep saving the status quo remains.  If the rich were to start spending all of their money the economy would try to compensate by devoting more resources to what rich people would buy, prices on other things would go up, the quality of life of everyone else would suffer.

The country actually isn’t going more and more broke if it has more and more money out there it could tax. As our assets grow relative to the size of the economy (work) it puts more of a burden on labor.

#Economy #Nationaldebt #Wealth #Politics

Of the National Debt

  • About 2/3 we owe ourselves
  • About 1/3 is held by foreign entities
  • US Individuals also own foreign debt. What’s in your mutual fund?
  • The net debt or surplus is relatively minor
  • When we don’t tax ourselves, it is the untaxed getting rich, not the bondholder
  • Countries get in trouble when they owe other countries on a net basis, especially if they don’t control the currency
  • All the major governments of the world are in a similar boat (the collective government account owes the individual accounts of the citizens)

All that’s really happened over the last 40 years is we’ve acquired a bunch of debt from the government and given it to the top.  If a just tax system was in place much of the wealth accumulation would not have taken place. 

Some conservatives call for the federal debt to be forgiven and some rating agencies have called our bonds risky.  There is no need for this as the government has the power to tax and the power to print money.  It can print money and decrease both wealth and debt or it can tax those that benefited the most. 


1. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Gross Domestic Product. Supplemental Information and Additional Information Tab. Current-Dollar and “real” GDP. Accessed June 7, 2020.

6. Treasury Direct. Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual. Accessed June 20, 2020.

7. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Distributional Financial Accounts. Accessed June 20, 2020.