What I Would Do If I Could Take On The National Debt
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What I Would Do If I Could Take On The National Debt

In one word: celebrate.

What I Would Do If I Could Take On The National Debt
Fiscal Times

One of the most misunderstood political issues, I would argue, is the national debt. Much of it I believe comes from our implicit idea of what debt means. As an individual, you understand that being in debt is a bad thing- It is not good to owe someone money. Generally, that is true. But let's replace debt with words the mean the same thing in financial speak.

The United State’s level of debt is at all time highs.
The United States capital levels are at all time highs.
The United States is more leveraged than ever before.
The United States has more investment than ever before.

Debt represents opportunity. If you have ever watched Shark Tank, what you are really seeing is people with ideas lining up to go into debt because they think that additional capital is what they need for their business to be successful. With that debt, they can buy a machine to produce more product or hire an employee to help them. The end goal is to eventually make more than what you owe and at a return higher than what you have to pay in interest.

For a whole bunch of macroeconomic reasons, that for simplicity I won't go into, the United States in being the strongest and most reliable country in the world should also incur the most debt. Lets put this in context. If I wanted to put my money in a bank, would I go to a sketchy small bank or would I go to Bank of America? When you put money in the bank, the bank is indebted to pay you back. When another country, say China, buys US bonds, they are giving their money to the US to use in exchange for the US protecting their capital and paying interest similar to like a bank would do. Essentially, the United States has greater use for China’s capital than they do. The US also has the most stable currency to protect capital from inflation which is another reason for investment or greater US debt.

The national debt represents about 108 percent of US GDP- that means the National debt is worth eight percent more than all the goods and services the US produces in a year. Again, that sounds scary, but it is nowhere near the kind of debt may people take on to say, own a house. For example, the average U.S. household has outstanding mortgage debt of more than $168,000. The average household income or personal GDP is just below $55,000. That means the typical household’s debt-to-“personal GDP” ratio would be more than 300 percent. 108 percent for the government 300 percent for the average American family.

So let's break it down further. The national debt is $18.96 trillion, and last year the government paid $225 billion in interest on that debt. After doing the math, you’ll find that the government paid about 1.18 percent interest on $18.96 trillion. Now, what would I do If I could take on that kind of debt at that rate…

I could afford to buy anything I wanted. A billion dollars is a drop in the bucket. The only thing I need to worry about is coming up with at least a 1.18 percent return on my $18.96 billion.

I would scoop up a few public companies. I would buy Google, Starbucks, maybe Apple, to provide a few safe investments.

I would create my own venture capital company and hire an entire staff dedicated to finding the smartest people in the world with the best ideas and inventions and give them the capital needed to succeed.

I would invest in real estate and develop infrastructure in developing countries, putting millions of people to work and sparking enormous growth. Returns on investment could be as high as 20 percent+.

As a humanitarian, and after I was confident I could achieve at least a 1.18 percent return I would put people to work and provide a base income to the poor.

I would hire scientists to find cures to diseases and give them away for free.

I would fund environmental programs.

I would fund space programs.

If I could continue to make a return on my investment, I would attempt to give everyone a phone and access to the internet.

That’s a pipe dream and is most likely not feasible because having access to that much money would surely spark an insane amount of inflation. The point I am trying to make is that the US is able to borrow a ton of money at a low interest rate and that is a good thing. The problem is that a government is responsible for taking care of its citizens, and they ways it does that does not always spark growth. Growth in the US is only 1.5 percent, whereas three percent is the standard for healthy growth in a country. That is concerning. Greater debt should spark greater growth. If our growth continues to lag then 1.18 percent interest payments get more and more expensive.

What will make or break us is whether the US can continue to come up with new inventions that create value and increase productivity and lead to growth, because the rest of the world has made an $18.96 billion bet that we can.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them

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