Aug 02, 2023

Fitch downgrade, and US national debt and interest expenses going parabolic

This is going to date me a bit, but when I was growing up, there was at least a debate on the national debt

Interest expense on the national debt is going parabolic: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A091RC1Q027SBEA

I'm frankly surprised we didn't get downgraded sooner. To be clear, AA- doesn't mean we're going to default tomorrow. But I don't see AAA justified either given the fiscal situation.

In 2011 after the downgrade, there was a market selloff but now it doesn't seem like people care...but I argue they should, since I don't see any easy or pleasant way out of this without some painful cuts to entitlement programs or other government spending, plus maybe more taxes. It's either that or significant inflation way above what we saw the past few years. We really could use a cancel culture for anyone who advocated Modern Monetary Theory, which is a fancy way of saying "we don't understand basic math"

 

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