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Crisis of Leadership PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Oct 09, 2008 at 07:01 AM

The $700 billion bailout of Wall Street that was annouced last week by the Bush adminstration will add to a staggering national debt of $10,000,000,000,000, ensuring that it will top $11 trillions by the end of next year ($700 b + $600 b for federal deficit + cost of war). To pay back the debt, every American household will have to contribute $100,000!

The national debt is now approaching the US Gross Domestic Products (GDP), that is the total output of a year-worth of work for the American people, which is currently around $13 trillions. The US government pays $430 billions in interests to service this loan. This is equal to the annual health bill and 4 times more than what is spent on education.

The national debt is already 5 times more than the federal revenues. To understand its enormity we need only to think of a household whose debt is 5 times more than its income, forcing it to pay 25% of what it brings in on interests! It is like having a household with an income of $40,000 a year paying $10,000 of its annual income in interests, while the principal keep increasing every year.

Who is responsible for this? How this debt will be paid back? And how this rising debt will impact next generations?

These questions are kept outside the national debate. None of the presidential candidates running to the highest office has addressed them, nor did any of the questioners in the last two debates made mention of them. The economic crisis facing the United States and threatening global economic recession is at core a crisis of leadership.

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