How Can the US Afford a $17 Trillion Debt?
          Source Economics 17 Budget Deficits

Historically Long Periods of Growth after Wars
Lowered Federal Net Debt Below 40% of GDP Then

Spending Went Up 4% and Tax Revenues
Went Down 4% Because

RR Took on Russia and Bush Did His Part
So the Debt Went Up

Good News Annual Deficit Again Heading Back Toward Normal
What Will Timeline Back to 40% Debt to GDP Look Like?
After WW 2 it Took Twenty Years of Steady Growth.
See U. S. Debt

But Medicare/Social Security Will Need More of Our GDP




What Could Go Wrong?

Higher Than Projected Interest Rates Could Make Carrying Debt More Expensive.
Stagnate Growth and High Interest Could Postpone Return to 40%.

Budget Effects of Obamacare and Other Contingent Liabilities Could Extend Timeline.

What Would Reduce Time Line to 40%?
1.  A Reagan/O'Neil/Greenspan 1983 Style Payroll Tax Increase
2. Cost Effectiveness in Education and Military Spending and the Redundant Safety Net
3. A Return to Moderate Inflation.
4. High Inflation

Why All The Static About the Debt
Its not the debt but what is bought. 
Many want high defense and a low safety net and vice versa.
Most don't to be taxed for what the other person gets.
Politicians and Media Need to Fill Empty Space with Inflammatory Half-truths.
We Live Better and Better But We Need Something to Complain About.

Editor's Note: Historically, Great powers have declined because of excess debt caused by military expenditures not paid for by taxes. Today the U.S. adds extensive health care spending debt to the mix.

Inflation has historical cured debt problems by lowering it relative to the nation's productivity, its GDP. This is happening today. Historically,  high interest payments caused by large debts have been a problem but today's excess world savings is keeping interest rate low allowing not only low interest payments but low interest rate debt refinancing. This lower real relative U.S. debt and low interest payments should  ease the fears of some older Americans who are concerned over the financial soundness of Social Security and Medicare. But Unfunded Government Liabilities may prove a problem if we continue to delay payroll tax increases.

Personally, as a college educated 71 year-old with a 13 year life expectancy;  I would gladly accept higher deficits for another ten years of healthy living . Then I would be a happy, somewhat poorer, and still good-looking ninety-five year-old  crotchety old-man.

Other possible debt  cures include an increased income base for Social Security, increased Medicare payroll taxes, larger health care deductibles, less military spending made possible by requiring Japan and South Korea to handle more of a misconceived Chinese military, NATO nations living up to their 2% of GDP commitment

See 2015 Social Security-Medicare Trustees Reports/

What is the Federal Debt: a primer for politicians

The Big Lie

Balance the budget is a simulation that allows participants
to make changes and balance the budget.

Who Owns the Debt

Subtracting Federal Accounts Brings Net Debt to a
Reasonable Level