I love when I see those figures saying that each American owes such-and-such thousand dollars when referring to the National Debt. People use this type of figure when they are trying to put-in-perspective just how much the government is spending. I understand what they’re getting at, and I understand they need a reference point (that the little people could understand).. but NO! This idea should NEVER be fostered. It legitimizes the debt being generated and socializes the true problem to something that becomes all of our collective fault. But it is NOT all of our collective fault.
It is governments fault… And it is their problem. A trip to the U.S. National Debt Clock (as of 4 November of 2012), shows that each American Citizen owes $51,571.
That debt is the Government’s debt. They’ve borrowed. They might say it’s on behalf of all of us little citizens, but only a fool would accept that premise. Here’s why:
“Per Citizen” presumes citizens had any kind of say in the spending and borrowing process. That citizens all benefit from the system equally. BUT WE DO NOT. We all really know that at best; — we do not have a say… and at worst, we all really recognize that; — this is Taxation Without Representation. A few [politicians] are borrowing and spending and think that they will be able to make others pay for what they want.
It also presumes that each Individual will be paying for their equal portion of the debt; And we know that’s not true. Since only 47% of Americans pay Federal Income Taxes, you cannot suggest that we all owe an equal amount. Obviously, not everyone pays. Seems pretty simple right? Back to the U.S. National Debt Clock (as of 4 November of 2012), shows that each American “Taxpayer” owes $141,599. Sucks for some of us…
Another glaring issue is that the individual citizen didn’t sign any contracts, didn’t borrow National Debt money that they (individually) can use. This Debt IS NOT mine, yours, or anyone we know’s individual debt. It is accumulated and built entirely by government. They won’t stop building debt and they won’t be able to seize everyone’s property to pay for it (without a fight).
The idea that government can accrue as much debt as it wants is the problem. But even the innocent suggestion that government’s debt can be viewed as a responsibility of each American Citizen should be squashed emphatically, and squashed immediately!