Niall Ferguson: US Unfunded Liabilities Top $238 TRILLION!!

Somehow we missed this over the summer.
In an excellent economic lecture series presented by the BBC, economic historian (& author of the recent Newsweek piece Hit the Road Barack) Niall Ferguson states that the total US unfunded liabilities is a mind-blowing $238 TRILLION- over 16 times the total US debt claimed by the Treasury Department of $16 trillion!!

Can you say QE to INFINITY….AND BEYOND!!!  ?  There is simply no other viable solution. Ferguson’s full lectures can be downloaded here:

The rapidly rising quantity of these bonds certainly implies a growing charge on those in employment, now and in the future, since – even if the current low rates of interest enjoyed by the biggest sovereign borrowers persist – the amount of money needed to service the debt must inexorably rise.

But the official debts in the form of bonds do not include the often far larger unfunded liabilities of welfare schemes like – to give the biggest American schemes – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The most recent estimate for the difference between the net present value of federal government liabilities and the net present value of future federal revenues is $200 trillion, nearly thirteen times the debt as stated by the U.S. Treasury.

Notice that these figures, too, are incomplete, since they omit the unfunded liabilities of state and local governments, which are estimated to be around $38 trillion.

Past, Present and Future: Government debt as percentage of GDP

Country 2000 2012 2017
China 16.4 22 10.1
France 57.4 89 84.6
Germany 60.1 78.9 71
Greece 103.4 153.2 136.8
Ireland 37.5 113.1 109.2
Italy 108.5 123.4 118.9
Japan 140.1 235.8 256.6
Portugal 48.4 112.4 109.2
Spain 59.4 79 91.6
United Kingdom 40.9 88.4 86.8
United States 54.8 106.6 113

Source: IMF, April 2012 World Economic Outlook. Figures for 2012 and 2017 are estimates.

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Comments

  1. Speaking of QE to Infinity, I was on Jim Sinclair’s Mineset yesterday and he said, “Gold will protect you in this transition. Silver will give you a cheap thrill followed by a spiritual experience devoid of a teacher.” What do you think he means by that?

    • @silvermeddler – Sinclair means that he believes silver will have a parabolic run-off top, followed by a big correction at the end of its bull market, similar to the correction at the end of the 1980 blow-off top.  He believes gold will be linked and float vs. the US dollar, and will trade in a high range plateau, and will not give up the majority of it’s bull market gains.  Essentially his cryptic remarks translated mean he believes that without an experienced teacher guiding you when you lock in your gains at the end of the silver bull, most will receive a spiritual experience at the end of the bull market. 

      Hope this helps.

      -Doc

    • Only Jim can explain what he meant. For anyone to presume what Jim meant is just an opinion void of the facts.

    • I decided to ask Jim myself and all he said was, “It depends what the economic conditions are at end game. Silver is industrial as well as precious. -Jim” Thanks @the-doc for expanding on that.

    • Forget Jim Sinclair.

      Yeah he’s rich, and I’m not, and good luck to him.

      But he is an aged babbling oracle that speaks in riddles and a convoluted language of his own making.

      I have stopped reading him, because nothing of what he says makes any sense to me, other than the obvious – get out of paper and hold physical PMs. Well I have to say there was a time when that was news, but not any more.     

  2. Oh I see????? Still as clear as mud. Spiritual experience as in “Oh God I was a fiat millionaire and now I’m not”? Arrrr plain English someone.

  3. Doc, being a silver proponent, even using it in your company name, can you envision a time where you’ll be promoting getting OUT of silver, as all the fundamentals have been fulfilled, the price overshot, or the gold-silver ratio looks to be bottoming?
    MOst people who will be in, seem to be in by now. The most interesting part now begins for us all, figuring out when to GET out, and at which exit. Exit to gold, exit to land/housing (and where), exit to stock (after some sort of inflation corrected reset), or even: exit to plain old currency. A new kind. It’s great to be stacking for the future, but the future will need to start at some point. We can’t improve our entry anymore, the exit will be key.

    • XC Skater I agree.  In the 1970′s before the $50 silver crashed there were sometimes lines around the block with people selling their silver.  When we get to the point that the public is standing in line similar to what they recently did to get the latest phone craze or standing in line for 8 hours to sell their silver it would probably be a big clue that a saturation point is rapidly nearing.
      My growing concern is FAKES!!  Better buy a magnet and start checking even the cheap silver coins like silver war nickels and 90% dimes.

    • @XC-Skater – yes, there will come a time to exit silver for other assets- for at least a portion of your portfolio. That time is not here yet or even close as the public is not anywhere near entering this market, much less going all in. Farmland and real estate will likely become severely undervalued vs. silver (and gold) as likely will equities.
      However, the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time still lie ahead of us in this massive secular bull.
      -Doc

    • @XC-Skater I think that the time to exit gold and silver is when the US dollar collapses which will also destroy other fiat currencies. There won’t be a new currency right away so you will have to use something as money to buy stuffs that you need. But the other question is when will the US dollar collapse happen. In my case, if it doesn’t happen after 50 years, then I’ll be selling them to pay for my needs.

  4. At what price point do you expect the tremendous amount of silver shorts to cover and take profits?

    • Never depend on someone to decide what you are going to do with what you own. Each person has to determine at what level they can exit and feel good about their decision. No one is going to own $5.00 silver and hold until silver goes to $5,000. You have to have an idea of where your new assets will be after you have sold your silver. Land, gold, platinum, or art. 

  5. XC Skater. Very very relevant post. I suppose the future being the unknown that it is, it will all come down to personal circumstances at which point you exchange your Silver for another tangible asset like land, property etc. Would be great if we have some clearly defined “Reset” point that is blatantly obvious to all and sundry that the greatest transfer of wealth moment has just occurred, but what if as Sinclair speculates Silvers moment comes, say on hyperinflation, then after TPTB rehash the system to their own advantage [AGAIN] that Silver moment goes! Obviously not all, but it experiences some degree of correction when measured by what ever the new monetary system turns out to be. Or are people generally anticipating that after it has gone parabolic, even after a new system is in place, it will still remain massively valuable?
    I really have no clear idea at this point in time when and what I’d do when seeing 3 digit or even 4 digit fiat Silver given the facts that there’ll be so many variables. That’s why I believe it will all come down to the individual when deciding the right time to get out. Would it be wrong to sell at $500 an ounce even before a reset and buy other tangible assets. Or would $500 prove to be a huge mistake if it went to $1000?
     
    I think the bottom line is that stacking the stuff is going to be the easy part….Timing your next moves when things are falling apart is going to be the difficult bit. Or am I missing something obvious?  

    • Making silver illegal to own to protect industry needs could be a killer for all who own silver. What a decision like this would do to the price of silver for the individual owner no one knows, but it would not be a good situation.

    • No, actually, you are dead on.  I have invested in the stock market for 35+ years and have done reasonably well at it.  In many cases, I can pick a good entry point on a stock but rarely can I pick the best exit.  For some reason, selling well is more difficult than buying well.  In a lot of cases, I use stop loss orders of various kinds.  This can work reasonably well but getting stopped out too soon can be a problem with stocks that rise or fall in stair-step fashion.  A trailing stop can provide good protection for the gains in a stock that shoots up and then falls back quickly.  Most of the gain can still be captured this way.

      @Snowrider… making silver illegal would be an excellent way to create a black market for silver.  Humans have liked and used silver for thousands of years and this is unlikely to change, even when challenged by a government that is so incompetent that it cannot even manage its own currency properly.

      @The Doc… do you still advocate holding company shares during the coming dollar crash?  I like being diversified and plan to hold stock in a few select company shares.  These would be the old time big caps that pay good dividends, like Coca-Cola, J&J, AT&T, Chevron, P&G, etc.  plus a few of the bigger mining stocks.  I would not own any financial stocks.  I would have the shares put in my own name and the certificates sent to me, rather than having my broker hold them in street name.  It is VERY likely that a lot of the shares owned in street name will be stolen by failing brokerage companies ala MF Global, PFG-Best, and Sentinel.  Or would you just avoid stocks altogether?  Thanks for any input on this.

  6. The only carcass in this case is when you get out of Silver (which I don’t believe one should ever do), what currency
    would prevail to buy goods and services? If the dollar in that time is worthless, what currency would you be standing in line
    for to sell your Silver or Gold? The world economy would need to be on a Gold or Silver real money standard.

    Silver and Gold become more rare as each day passes. Would Gold and Silver ever be debased? I don’t think so.

    Ranger from Texas

  7. I have a unsettling feeling that the elites do not want me in the their financial club. They will have to undermine the price and right to own silver to do that. 

  8. Ferguson characterizes my Social Security as a “welfare scheme”?  That’s interesting, Mr. Ferguson, as I have paid into that scheme for the last 45 years.  I appreciate him taking on the Libs and Obama in Newsweek, but this is one item he should redact.  It’s an insult to all those who have contributed to the Social Security System.

    • Same for Medicare, while I was able to work I was forced to pay into both. No opt out no options to invest on my own.

    • “It’s an insult to all those who have contributed to the Social Security System.”

      I “contributed” to these federal boondoggle programs with all the enthusiasm of someone being mugged at gun-point.  There was nothing contributory about it.  It was theft, pure and simple, abetted by naked force.

      The shoe is finally on the other foot now as, against the advice of most retirement “experts”, I started taking SS benefits last October at age 62.  Makes for some terrific silver stacking cash!  :-)
       

    • @EdB:  Call it what you will, contribution or extortion or theft.  The SSN amount we receive is far greater than what they “stole” from us.  Regardless it is what it is.  And I also signed up for receipt at age 62.  It pays off the mortgage each month automatically.  My Dad died at age 63, so I decided not to roll the dice and wait until age 66.  And you’re right:  mo money for phyzz stacking!

    • @rvnmedic6869 and @Ed_B “Makes for some terrific silver stacking cash!” and “..mo money for phyzz stacking!”
      Yeah, more money that came by debts since the government cannot pay off its deficits. Since that money came by debts, someone has to pay it one day and you know who? My generation along with the future ones! We are going to be debt slaves to pay off the national debts caused by the baby boomers and by our parents.

    • @Sumkid… “Yeah, more money that came by debts since the government cannot pay off its deficits.”

      I will not argue the correctness of this system since I was not put in charge of it but will say that I paid many tens of thousands of dollars into it for 35+ years.  SS is not some freebie that is being handed out for nothing… like welfare and any number of other government give-away programs.  This is a benefit that was forced upon us all and that we contributed our money to supporting.  Could these have been better designed and implemented?  You bet!  They should have been too.  But they were not and we all are now stuck with the results.  I am just making the best of them as I can and so should everyone else.  What else can we do?   

      “Since that money came by debts, someone has to pay it one day and you know who? My generation along with the future ones!”

      You say that as if my generation did not also do that.  Well, we did.  Thing is, my generation is bigger than most so is skewing the entire system.  Maybe my parents generation should not have had so many kids?  Personally, I do not think that this is so much about numbers as it is about THINKING.  The so-called Baby Boomers did not sneak up on anyone. Those who run statistics and who track trends have been aware of this coming problem for the better part of 40 years, yet the politicians did nothing to prepare the country or the SS system for this onslaught of retirees.  Well, why not?  Probably because a lot of them knew that this was coming but that they would be safely dead or retired before the financial SHTF.  Too bad, that.  There was an opportunity there for some tremendously creative and effective leadership on their part but they declined the invitation.  Worse yet, they set up a system whereby SS revenues since about 1965 were absorbed by the general fund and spent on various programs, leaving interest bearing IOUs for future generations to pay.  This is nothing more than having a big spending party for today’s voters while sticking tomorrow’s voters with the tab.  This works because tomorrow’s voters cannot vote these criminals out of office today.  You can thank LBJ and his fellow Dems for this and all the politicians that have followed that time without fixing this problem.

      “We are going to be debt slaves to pay off the national debts caused by the baby boomers and by our parents.”

      Perhaps.  But then maybe this is your opportunity to show some creativity?  As a silver stacker, you are already doing that, which is excellent and I congratulate you for that.  A lot of younger people are in the sheeple herd and are totally unaware of the ticking time-bomb inherent in these big programs, particularly SS and Medicare.  Debt is a huge issue for everyone and when the dollar collapses because of it and brings down the economy, ALL of us will be suffering.  We are all in this together, so this is not strictly the problem of any one generation.  The days of Soylent Green ARE on the way and those who have not prepared for it will suffer the most.

    • @Ed_B One thing that I can tell you about my generation is that they are the most unaware of the situation. Most of the sheeple are located in my generation. Seriously, buying multiple iPhones, iPods, fashions and the lists goes on! Also, an iPhone 5 costs about 207$ to produce while it is sold for about 649$ and people still buys them! I don’t have that much problems with that as long as they are prepared against the collapse when in reality, they are not.

    • Yes, that seems to be the case alright but your generation is definitely not alone in this.  I think that the real problem here is that all too many people simply do not want to hear an ugly truth when they can tip-toe through the tulips and pretend that everything is just fine.  My generation has plenty of these folks too.  They are the ones who get to their mid-60s, thinking all the while that SS and Medicare will provide for all their needs.  It is not until they are actually receiving these benefits that the truth impinges upon their closed minds. I do not blame the government for this.  Both SS and Medicare take great pains to tell people that they will need to supplement what they get from these programs and that it will take a considerable amount of money to do this.  But, do these people listen to them?  Noooo, of course not.  Doing that would interrupt their tip-toeing through the tulips fantasy and we simply cannot have that.  :-/
       
      Actually, it shocks me that an iPhone costs as much as $207 to produce… and with cheap Chinese labor to boot.  Personally, I just do not see the attraction of the i-This, i-That, and i-27 other things.  They seem like toys for the truly self-absorbed.  Because of this, I have no interest in ever owning one of them.  Yes, I have a cell phone.  It is a 5-year old Samsung that makes calls and takes voice messages.  That’s all I need a phone to do, so why update to a newer / more expensive phone that does a lot of stuff I neither need nor want?

      In a collapse situation, none of the electronic toys of today are likely to be of any use whatever.  Yes, a decent radio would be good in case there are any emergency info channels still on the air but that is likely to be about all that still functions.  Cell phones are unlikely to operate because of the sophisticated network that is needed to support them.  A few walkie-talkies would be useful but a solar powered battery charging system would be needed in case the electricity is out.  For less than the price of an i-Phone, it should be possible to do that… but most people won’t, just as most people will not spend 1% of their income these days putting aside some emergency supplies.  Too much trouble, they say, and not really needed because the store is just a couple of blocks away.  Then, when a hurricane or tornado is coming at them, they RUN to the stores and clean out all the shelves!  :-(

  9.  
    Professor Ferguson, in keeping with other folks who label themselves as ‘Conservative’, confines his prognoses of economic malady in excessive debt’s origin as presumed to flow from political ills (‘leaders’ who’ve broken the ‘generational contract’), rather than to the more fundamental cause found in the monetary structure that rather compels incapacity to meet the ‘contract’, irrespective of WHO the ‘leaders’ may be.

    Noting that he teaches at Harvard, this is to be expected. The Regents would not otherwise have allowed him NEAR its halls. His ‘Conservatism’ is in keeping with that of Alexander Hamilton, who sought to ‘conserve’ Mercantilist, government-centric, economy in fierce opposition to Thomas Jefferson’s Capitalist Social Structure. Luckily, for us, his position was laid out candidly when early in his lecture, he praised the blessings og England’s Empire as dating to the institution of the Bank of England (‘a central bank’) and the paper ‘Pound’ note.

    The naked fact is that paper ‘money’ is purely ephemeral debt issued on nothing more than governmental ‘eminence’, incurring interest which coincidentally forces inflation of even more paper ‘money’ and debt. The merest notion of it is condemnation of future generations. No feint upon politicians (generously compensated in myriad ways to endure such slings and arrows), however prosaically stated in haughty ‘Queen’s English’, can obscure it.

       

  10. Let’s be clear on the subject of government largesse.  A government generous to give us everything, $238 trillion, is completely able to take it away.  Governments around the world are systematically stripping retirement funding schemes, including Spain’s dipping into its citizens  Social Security fund.  The government took $3 billion last month    There’s only $9 billion in that pot.
    Maybe, Mary B, you and I won’t have our Medicare and Social Security taken,, but on  a long enough time line all government programs survival rate drops to zero

  11. “Maybe, Mary B, you and I won’t have our Medicare and Social Security taken,, but on  a long enough time line all government programs survival rate drops to zero”

    Perhaps we fogies will be “lucky” and expire before these beloved programs do?  <sarc/off>
     

  12. Ed B   You make some good points here.  80% of all retirees have Plan A and thats it.   Rely on the good graces of the government and everything will be taken care of.  I now have an active and aggressive hostility and distrust of the govenment as it is presently constituted.   Governments in their death throes will kill their citizens by the millions. History is replete with examples of this syndrome, which continues in the world today. 
    Social Security snorkeled well over $300,000 from my income as it did from my wife’s.  Actuarially speaking, when she starts taking $1,500 a month at 62, a plan we just set up, it would take about 20 years to recover her 44 years of ‘contributions’   Without getting into the argument if this in an entitlement, pension plan or something else, there is only a 50/50 chance she will recover 100% of her contributions in her lifetime.  This assumes the government did not invest in anything that achieved even .01% return on assets, a fact that is easy to establish.   It’s has been calculated that SS receives a NEGATIVE 1% ROI since that’s the cost of the plan’s administration.

    My reason for making these notes is to recognize that our personal retirement  planning culminated in stacking PMs instead of trying to find suitable investments that would give us enough income to replace our business returns.  ZIRP is the great destroyer of senior’s retrirement plans.  There are no income streams in this era that will give retirees the return they need.  Therefore one of the few plans that could achieve suitable returns is stacking
    Plan A is using Social Security for the retiree’s sole support.  How does that sound? Stop planning from here and you get the government as your partner.

    Plan B is using small incremental sales of PMs to supplement income (hopefully under the Gestapo tax radar)
    Plan C is using small amounts of appreciated PMs to buy medical services for cash
    Plan D is using silver and gold to pay the unreimbursed portion of Medicare for medical care
    Plan E is to go to another country for  medical care that is not paid for available in your home country at any price
    Plan F is anything else you can think of that will circumvent the medical rationing that will soon come to this country.
    It’s nice to have plans isn’t it?

    • As do you, AG.  I always read and learn something from your posts and hope that you will keep on doing that.  :-)

      You’re right that many people only have SS as their retirement income.  It is absolutely pathetic that people do this when they can afford to save and invest for their own futures but don’t.  The SSA itself has tirelessly said that SS benefits were never meant to be the sole retirement support that people need for a comfortable retirement.  They mention the “3 legged stool” over and over again and it consists of SS benefits, pension plans (also 401Ks, IRAs, 403Bs, etc.), and personal savings.  If each of these can provide 1/3 or more of what a person needs to retire, then great.  If not, then some supplemental income via part-time work may be needed.  That many people pay no attention to the SSA on this is clear.  Just go to the AARP web site and read some of the comments in their forums about SS.  The whining and crying about it being insufficient for ALL of their needs is long, loud, and completely their fault for not paying attention to the SSA and then doing something about it.  I do cut some slack for the working poor.  These folks work hard all their lives and need every bit of what they earn to live for today.  I can relate to them because my grand parents were like this.  Being poor was not their fault.  They were largely unskilled and uneducated, so did the jobs that they could for low wages.  Unlike today, there were not dozens of state and federal programs for job training, so what little of that there was came from employers who were willing to train people for better jobs.

       ”I now have an active and aggressive hostility and distrust of the govenment as it is presently constituted.”

      Yes, you and millions of other Americans as well.  A lot of this stems from the fact that we have been lied to so often and so blatantly that we wonder if the government even recognizes the truth anymore.

       ”Governments in their death throes will kill their citizens by the millions. History is replete with examples of this syndrome, which continues in the world today.”

      Yes, this has happened all too often in history and seems ready for a repeat performance at a country near you shortly.  I believe that this occurs when government loses sight of the fact that it is not the government that is the nation, it is the citizens.  When government and citizen interests diverge, it is ALWAYS incumbent upon the government to amend its interests such that they are aligned with the people.  Unfortunately, they have a 180 degree view of this and always seek to impose their view on the rest of us.  History shows that this only works for a time because government is powerful but at some point the will of the people WILL be restored no matter how much blood and tyranny is used to preserve a government that knows no bounds in the cost of its existence to the people.

      “It’s has been calculated that SS receives a NEGATIVE 1% ROI since that’s the cost of the plan’s administration.”

      I would have a hard time disagreeing with this, as it is difficult to find ANY investment that is a worse performer than anything run by the government.  The nation of Chile converted its SS-like program to a national 401K-type program quite a while ago.  They realized that their old system was not sustainable and would fail.  Before allowing that to occur, they implemented their new program which has worked superbly.  Too bad that we are suffering terribly from the “not invented here syndrome” on this issue.  The Dems refuse to make ANY changes to SS, even when confronted with the facts that the system WILL die if changes are not made to streamline it / make it more efficient / keep it in tune with our demographics.  As a SS recipient, I support change and fully understand that I may have to give up some of these benefits to save this system. I will do so gladly IF everyone else also does so proportionally.  While I would much prefer a privatized retirement system to a socialistic one, that does not seem possible in the current political climate.  

      “My reason for making these notes is to recognize that our personal retirement  planning culminated in stacking PMs instead of trying to find suitable investments that would give us enough income to replace our business returns.”

      As a long-time investor, I cannot fault you for this in the current financial climate.  Bernanke is inflating the stock market and many people are mistaking that inflation for growth.  It isn’t.  Still, my financial assets are now worth more in dollar terms, if not in purchasing power terms.  Because of this, I continue to stack silver on any and all price dips.  I just added 75 more oz. worth of silver Maples that should be arriving shortly.  After that, I want to get 80 oz. of ASEs to bring my stack to 1500 oz.  While this is not my final goal, it is reasonably healthy and should serve as a core of wealth that Bernanke & Co. cannot fritter away via the Fed’s inflation game.

      “There are no income streams in this era that will give retirees the return they need.”

      If this refers to fixed income investments, I agree.  I’ve never been a fan of bonds, CDs, savings accounts, money markets, and the like.  Any money placed in these seems to either melt away slowly or be quickly decimated by rising interest rates.  Because of this, I have long been a stock, mutual fund, and more recently an ETF investor.  I have done reasonably well at this but an fully aware that today’s economic / financial condition is not what we have had in the past, so past plans are unlikely to succeed for much longer these days.  Enter, silver, stage right!

      ” It’s nice to have plans isn’t it? ”

      Indeed it is… especially when one acts on their plans rather than merely day-dreaming about them.

      As a seasoned citizen, AG, I am sure that you remember the old GUM department stores in the USSR.  These were the western style stores in which the communist party members could buy anything they wanted but the rest of the citizens could not.  They could only shop at the stores with long lines and minimal low-quality goods.  Others with hard currency could also shop at the GUM stores, such as traveling foreign businessmen and diplomats.  I can see a time coming in the USA when this will be repeated here, only in our case, it will be crummy stores with unhelpful staff, minimal shoddy goods, and empty shelves where those with fiat can shop plus NICE stores with fresh and plentiful meat, dairy, bakery, produce, etc. for those with REAL money (aka gold and silver) to spend.  I even dreamed about this one night and it was an incredibly clear and lucid dream… so much so that it seemed more like a vision of the future rather than a dream.  Keep stacking, friends… ALL depends on it!

       

  13. How could the USA still be running as a country with no collapses with 238 trillions of dollars? No empires, no countries, no territories were running with that much debt wealth except for the USA. That country will collapse soon along with the others especially because the president cannot even pay off the interest of the debts.

  14. Sumkid   Regretfully you are right.  The US Social Security system was conceived as a multi generational  Ponzi Scheme.  In it’s early years the tax extractions were supposed to pay for themselves but the first person to ever take advantage of the retirement income paid in little morth that a few hundred dollars are got out $12,000   And that back 70 years ago.  Now the system is designed to do little more than take money from your generation, pass it through to mine, and add a $100 trillion in unfunded mandates to boot.  The system was never designed to be self sustaining  Anyone with a 6th grade math skill could see that it would either require immense amounts of additional payments from the future generations or a PROMISE TO PAY.  Who will pay it.  You will for now, whether you are Canadian or US, the systems are quite similar.  This SS system was Progressives wet dream.  Even the Germans under Kaiser Wilhelm knew this would not work. Then came WWI and the Weimar Republic and hyperinflation.  The entire German pension system was utterly destroyed.  But SS system is not about provide old age pensions to seniors.  IT IS ABOUT POWER AND ITS RETENSION. Those who control the seniors health care with Medicare, control pensions with Social Security and now the average Joe’s Joe’s health care with Obamination-Care control the will of the people.  Lenin made this clear in his earliest speeches.  Control health care and you control the people.   That is why politicians call Social Security the  THIRD RAIL OF POLITICS.  If they touched it they would die.  Granny votes with her pocketbook.  Vote to chance Social security and Medicare and you die.  But now politicians are voting to change these $100 trillion mandates.  The threat of Granny and her Gray Panthers does not have the same impact as it used to.  We are going broke so everyone is going to have to pay   The bad part of this is it creates inflationary and evey hyder inflation monetary debasement so stacking is still the best resolve to protect yourself against these self created problems of government

    • @AGXIIK Yes, stacking physical gold and silver will protect you from government’s problems. But, most of my generations are too busy buying fashions, gadgets, etc. There should be a new fashion where stacking gold and silver are cool but there won’t because it will drive their prices way too high. At least my generation will still have a lot of time to gain back their wealth if the dollar collapses since they will be young. As for the older generation, they will suffer because they will lose their retirement savings and they might not have enough time to gain back their loses unless if someone help them.

  15. “The threat of Granny and her Gray Panthers does not have the same impact as it used to.  We are going broke so everyone is going to have to pay”

    Exactly so, AG.  The good news, and yes, there really is some,  is that the knowledge of our national insolvency is becoming common.  It is no longer merely the upper end of our society who understand that this insolvency is not coming, it is here!  If this does not stimulate us to take aggressive and responsible action, then we are well and truly done as a nation… for some time if not permanently.  But we all know that nations rise and fall so this would not be anything new in a historical context.  The trick is not to fall with the nation but to preserve our families, friends, and communities.  The S will HTF but that does not mean that we should not “duck and cover” to the extent that we can so as to not get splattered too badly.
     

  16. Gum  That’s  a name I haven’t heard for about 20 years.  The Potemkin Village of Soviet Consumerism.   Our addled politicians, usually lefties, wandered through the aisles and were completed deluded by this fraud.  And then we got Wal Mart.  Gum deluded us. Walmart has anesthetized us. We still look at the vast cornucopia of goodies and think it’s nirvana, fooling ourselves into thinking times are good.   LOL
    How did we  get to $238 trillion? 
    Back in Reagan’s days it was just a trillion dollar deficit. Then things started getting out of hand. Plain arithmetic will grow your obligations slowly.  The Rule of 72 is immutable.
    Exponential growth is something else.  But we have Orders of Magnitude in growth of mandates, all voted by our able and willing politicians to buy votes.  “Here, have some more money you can’t pay back”, they said  ‘Sure’, we said. Gimme Gimme. 
    I will be the first to admit I am not good at math but compounding is the most powerful force in the Universe said Einstein, and it will eventually bite you in the behind. As Keynes said we can spend our way to prosperity  He excused the obvious flaw in the argument by saying ‘in the end we are all dead.’ Dont’ worry, be happy, keep spending.
     Well, John Maynard, some of us are living beyond that mortal statistic. We are straightarming the Death Angel and spending at light speed. We are going to run out of money before we run out of lifespan.
    Ooopsie, better start stacking while the price is low and rest assured, we will live longer, much longer, than Precious metals can be repressed.
    As seasoned sovereign silver senior I have to admit I like my chances as I do for those of our fellow readers.

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