Americans have a tough time grasping the enormity of the nation's awful financial state.
Some numbers may help.
Sometime between the years 2030 and 2040, according to U.S. government analysts, the government's mandatory spending on debt interest, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will be so large that the total will exceed federal revenue.
That means money for things such as defense and security, agriculture, courts, parks and all other functions will need to be borrowed.
As of June 1, the national debt was $13 trillion.
Of that debt, 25 percent—some $3.8 trillion—is owed to overseas countries. Only 22 years ago, foreigners held 13 percent of the IOUs.
If the debt was spread to every man, woman and child in the United States today, each would owe some $42,000.
Of the foreign creditors, the United States owes China $895 billion—far larger than the Wall Street bailout. China holds 23.4 percent of our foreign debt.
Oil-producing countries on which the U.S. relies hold only 5.8 percent of the foreign IOUs—$229 billion—and are fourth on the list of the largest debt holders.
But the most appalling and grating fact is that Marxist China holds the most foreign debt.
Marxism? The ultimate anti-capitalist political system? Now it's the largest lender to the free-enterprise but broke United States.
Ruthless as it was and is, the clever Chinese communists have bludgeoned their way into a world leadership position despite global protests of its brutality to its own people, its seizure of Tibet, its ouster of Nationalist China from internal forums, its sale of weaponry to terrorist states such as Iran, and espionage and computer hacking of U.S. industry and the military.
Like flies swarming to a bright light, American industry and business literally rumbled like a herd to China, becoming partners in business and selling the best technology (including missile systems), as well as buying cheap Chinese exports that hiked the trade deficit.
Right behind came the U.S. government, broke and looking for quick loans. The cash-heavy Chinese obliged, knowing that someday some U.S. president could be threatened into diplomatic and military decisions demanded by the IOU-heavy Chinese.
So, when that 2030-40 period arrives, and Washington suddenly can only finance its mandatory services, will the Chinese help drive up the astronomical U.S. debt even further with generous loans year after year?
Then your grandchildren can blame Congress for lacking the stomach to take drastic action when it had time but put off every year until next year.