How Much We Need to Tax the American People to Pay Off the Public Debt

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America is in a debt crisis, and we are catching up to our own GDP. The contentious question of how to pay off this debt is examined below. Would it be feasible to tax the American people enough to erase our debt? Let’s take a look.

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4 responses to “How Much We Need to Tax the American People to Pay Off the Public Debt”

  1. While this is an important issue, it’s important to understand that the $84,000 figure gives us a sense of the magnitude of the debt, but the number is meaningless in any real sense. It is not (and never has been) practical to pay off a national debt in one year, so the debt will actually be reduced over many years by many more people than that (actually, by everyone who pays taxes over the length of the debt retirement.)

    Also, some of the debt will be inflated away. As well, a growing GDP will reduce the debt faster and make it a smaller percentage of the GDP.

    Lastly, “soon we will owe far more than our country’s value.” is not true in the sense it’s written. The GDP is not the country’s value. “Value” is closer to WEALTH, which is many times larger than the GDP.

    Bottom line: The debt is important because we pay interest on it (currently negative interest, so it’s not hurting at all) but we are not each going to be liable for $84K in debt reduction.

    PS – And of course, ultimately, the debt is for stuff we collectively wanted as an electorate. Including, ironically, extra tax refunds for the wealthy. (About $4,200 of that $84,000 is the extra money we each owe so that the top 1% can pay less taxes and hire more of us. Not sure that’s been working out for these past 10 years.)

  2. @Donna Except that if we increase the tariff tax businesses will pass 100% of the cost to the consumer, seeing as how we have a 50+ billion annual trade deficit with China it will make a lot of goods too expensive to the average american.

  3. American peoples every year pay the tax….. …
    generally in American peoples income very high so they are the pay the tax………………


  4. hey, what if we increased the tariffs on imports, I guess China has theirs at like 40% and ours is 1%, that does not seem fair. How much could we pay down the debt by raising up the import tariffs like what we used to do to fund the federal gov before income taxes? Why not make it half what China charges? that seems more than fair.

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