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Latest Issue

Caught in a Debt Trap

October 16, 2020

We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Elvis Presley’s rendition of Suspicious Minds topped the record charts in 1969. The lyrics portray a romance that couldn’t work, but was also impossible to escape. That’s also a good way to describe our relationship with government debt. We know it can’t last, but we can’t walk out. We love government spending and its benefits (like Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment insurance) too much.

In other words, we are in a debt trap. Our political process can’t reduce spending and/or raise taxes enough to balance the budget, so the debt grows and grows. As it does, paying the interest plus the accumulated debt load pulls more capital away from more productive uses. This depresses economic growth, thereby generating even more spending and debt.

This has to end, and I think it will do so in the event I’ve called The Great Reset. When I first started talking about The Great Reset, we weren’t in the debt trap. We were “merely” in a situation with only bad choices. I didn’t think we would make them. Thus the underlying presumption was that we would end up in a debt trap.

The Great Reset will be our escape from the debt trap. While there will be some winners and (probably more often) losers, it won’t be fun for anyone. And it all springs from the debt trap.

Today I’ll talk about how we got into this trap, why we can’t escape without completely resetting the taxation/spending structure, and what it is...

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