Well, we've finally done it.
The national debt, which stood at just $5.73 trillion when Bush took office in January of 2001, is now more than $10 trillion.
This is a stunning 75% increase just since the day Bush became the first President ever to forgo the traditional walk to the podium, preferring to ride in his armored car (perhaps the object-throwing crowds had something to do with that).
Think about this increase for a minute.
By the time Bush leaves, it could easily amount to a perfect doubling of the national debt in the span of only eight years.
To those who now want to rescue the credit markets so we can "get back to how things were" are failing to observe that "how things were" was, most recently, not at all how things used to be.
There's nothing to return to. A nation that doubles its debts every eight years does not really exist. It is an illusion built on borrowing. There's no way to "get back to that," because it was just a crazy party, thrown at great expense. But now the rugs are stained, the lamps are broken, and booze is all gone.
Here's what it looks like from a historical view. Bush's legacy (which is really the legacy of everybody in DC; I do not mean to pick on him alone) is circled in a color I like to call "rug stain yellow."
All of these wild attempts to "stabilize the markets" with a big government borrowing binge are most certainly destined to be ill-fated.
The only realistic way out of this, from a banking system and government standpoint, is to print, print, print.
There is almost no doubt left in my mind that the printing process is either already humming along in the background, or soon to begin.
Oh, by the way? My mother-in-law reports that today that she went to take cash out of the bank, but greeting her at the door was a hand-taped sign stating that customers are now limited to $1000 cash per day.
Gold and silver were hit again today in the lightly traded access (paper) markets, but good luck finding any physical to buy. It's not impossible, by any stretch, but it's a lot harder than it was last week, and that was harder than last month. The trend tells the tale.
Congratulations, America, you are now officially a $10 trillion debtor nation. Break out the party hats.
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