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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
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Take a Close Look at Global Debt

While there have been many news stories about the debt crisis in Europe and here in the United States, it occurred to me that the details are hard to figure out. The reasons are simple. The details are never covered.

Now, take a look with me at the national and local government debt in the United States, and the debt of nations around the globe.

First, our national debt is around $14.9 trillion and growing. That is roughly $49 thousand of debt for every person living in the United States. To check out current figures relating to our debt, go to this website –

Next, there is another dimension to debt in the United States and those figures relate to state and local governments. There are only four states in the United States not in a budget crisis – Alaska, Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota. The total local and state debt in the United States is around $340 billion!

Up to now, there has only been chatter in Washington with really very little bipartisan effort to deal with the national crisis. It is too bad we cannot go back to the days of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil when the dialogue was more civil and productive.

Now, take a look with me at the debt picture in other parts of the world. Right now the global debt is some $41 trillion. Interestingly China only has a debt of around $948 billion or $709.00 per capita. Yes only $709.00 per capita compared to our per capita debt of over $48 thousand!

And as I examined other countries, the challenge we face did not disappear. Even Greece which has been on the edge of economic chaos has a per capita debt of around $34 thousand. Then Canada, our neighbor to the North, is less threatened than the United States. The per capita debt in Canada is only some $34 thousand.

Without going into each country, it is interesting to look at the United Kingdom, which has a per capita debt of only $27 thousand.

If you would like to look closer at the global debt and the debt for most countries, go to this website: www.economist. com/content/global_debt_clock. You will be amazed about the global debt and how much the United States has missed the mark.

Again, I come back to the indecision in Washington. We must get our “house in order.” It is time for our national interests to be put ahead of 24/7 news rhetoric and partisan politics.

Robert McMillan Website: