On: The debt II
An impasse and an unlikely solution
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
How did they do it? The same way America can. Unlike Greece, whose lenders are primarily foreign, much of America's debt is held by American private investors and intra-government accounts. Domestic investors hold $3.2 trillion in marketable debt. In short, paying back our debt should help our economy. That's one of the ways Belgium is deleveraging while avoiding austerity, their tax revenues are immediately put back into the country.
It is true, I am simplifying. For one, Belgium's economy grew over its 14-year period of debt reduction and had a primary surplus (a budget surplus before interest payments on their debt). America, on the other hand, is flirting with a double-dip recession. But America is more politically stable than Belgium, who hasn't had a proper government in over a year.
In summary, America has options, but we don't have those options for long. The summertime histrionics over the debt ceiling broached an important question: Will we use our time and options effectively?
We will find out soon enough.