First of all, I want to say thanks for all the well-wishes.
I’ve been flat on my back for the past several days with a particularly nasty case of the flu that I likely contracted en route to Los Angeles last week.
Picking up the occasional bug is one of the hazards of spending a lot of time on planes… plus I have some special luck with airlines for always being seated next to a guy who sneezes with the explosiveness and ferocity of a biological terrorist.
But, now that I’m better and getting brought up to speed, one of the things that caught my attention this morning was that the US government’s debt level has soared to just a hair under $19.7 trillion.
To give it some context, that’s up over $120 billion in just six business days.
It’s almost as if Barack Obama is intentionally and desperately trying to breach the $20 trillion mark before he leaves office in January.
Of course, this hasn’t been reported anywhere because the media is too busy pretending to be shocked that Donald Trump is a womanizer.
And yet the debt is a much, much bigger story… though admittedly one that is far less entertaining.
The election is merely a fight over who gets to be the band conductor while the Titanic sinks. And the debt is precisely the reason for this.
Total US public debt has skyrocketed over the last eight years by $9 trillion, from $10.6 trillion to $19.7 trillion.
And in the 2016 fiscal year that just closed two weeks ago, the government added a whopping $1.4 trillion to the debt, the third highest amount on record.
Plus, they managed to accumulate that much debt at a time when they weren’t even really doing anything.
It’s not like the government spent the last year vanquishing ISIS or rebuilding US infrastructure. They just… squandered it.
Now, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says we shouldn’t worry about America’s prodigious debt, and anyone who fusses over it doesn’t understand economics.
Stiglitz claims that we wouldn’t judge a private company like Apple based solely on its debt.
We’d look at other factors like assets, income, and growth before making an assessment of the company’s financial health.
And he’s right.
Singapore, for example, is a country with an extremely high level of debt. At first glance, it looks dangerous.
But if you dive deeper into the government’s balance sheet, you see an enormous abundance of cash reserves.