If you have followed any of my work, you will know I am an Irishman who has a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen and I have been trying to find a legal route for over 14 years. There are so many reasons why I want to become an American. I love your nation, the principles it was built on, your people, your sports, your food, and your Constitution. I could spend all day talking to you about the reasons why I love America and why my heart and soul yearns for America.
There is only one reason why becoming an American would not be fun. It really is the million dollar problem which affects everyone but sadly nobody is interested in addressing it. Let's imagine for one moment I found a legal way stateside tomorrow and automatically became a citizen. What would happen?
U.S. Federal Debt
I would attend a nationalization ceremony where I would take the pledge of allegiance, start the process of gaining an America passport, and have the right and honor of calling myself an American citizen. The very second it was official; my share of the US federal debt would be at least $65,775. This is the amount every US citizen would have to pay to clear the debt in full.
I say "at least" because that figure does not give a complete picture. Is it a fair or realistic scenario to expect everyone in society to pay that figure? Could you expect young babies to pay it? People in school? Unemployed people? Older generations?
You can debate the merits of each group but I believe the more accurate number is $177,284 – this is the amount every taxpayer would need to pay to clear the debt in full. However, this is also not a complete figure.
America has made promises to people which are called unfunded liabilities – these include items like social security and Medicare. If you include paying those liabilities in full along with clearing the debt, the amount explodes to $943,786 for every taxpayer. However, my share of the debt does not stop there.
I love all of America, but my heart and soul live in Texas. If I was lucky enough to legally move to America and secure work in Texas I would also be responsible for my share of the debt in Texas which is currently $10,548 per Texan.
However, sometimes dreams don't come true and I might have to move to another state to find work. Wyoming currently has the lowest debt per citizen of $3,061 and New York has the highest of $17,832. So depending on where I live my share of your debt could be anywhere between $946,841 and $961,627.
These figures are accurate on writing (Sunday 14th October 2018) but they rely on the condition that DC and local governments stopped ALL borrowing. There is something important to remember at the state level – 35 out of the 50 US states are adding to their debts on a daily basis. So how likely is it that your government has stopped borrowing money? You can answer that but let me ask you a couple of questions first:
- When was the last time you heard anyone highlight the debt being unsustainable?
- The GOP love to promote themselves as the fiscally responsible party. They currently hold all three branches of government, yet when was the last time you heard anyone mention a balanced budget amendment?
- Do you know any politician in DC who is willing to shut down the government to stop spending?
- Does anyone in DC have any creditability to speak about these issues?
I ask the last question, because over the last decade, BOTH sides have highlighted the debt as a problem, have proceeded to get power and make the situation worse. Do you remember how the debt grew under the George Bush administration and the attacks from the Democrats? The debt grew from around $5.7 trillion in 2001 to $9.6 trillion in 2009. Democrats said the war in Iraq was growing the debt to unsustainable levels, and Barack Obama even called it unpatriotic in the 2008 election. What happened next?
The debt during the eight years Barack Obama was President went from $9.6 trillion to $19.5 trillion. The eight years of the Obama administration saw more debt added than the prior 200+ years combined. Those years also accounted for the largest increases of federal debt by ANY nation in the history of the world. Here is the list:
2009 - America - $1.4 Trillion
2010 - America - $1.3 Trillion
2011 - America - $1.3 Trillion
Does anything strike you about those years? Those are the years the tea party started in America, the years when Conservatives and talk radio came together and held rallies saying the government was too big, how those levels of debt were unsustainable and how America needed a change in leadership.
America had the big tea party wave election regaining the House in 2010, the GOP regained the Senate in 2014 and Trump became President in 2016. The GOP now has control of all three branches of government so things are good now… Right? WRONG.
The fiscal year in DC ends on the 30th of September every year. For the fiscal year, 2017/2018 America added over $1.2 trillion to the national debt. This is the fourth largest increase in federal debt in human history.
These increases currently have your debt standing at $21.6 trillion. According to the CBO (which always under-estimates figures), they forecast the U.S. debt will grow by $12.6 trillion over the next ten years and on the current path America will have a debt of $33.8 trillion by 2028. I have said trillion a lot in this article, so allow me to type the number out just so you can see what it could look like in 2028 - $33,800,000,000,000 – WOW…. that's a LOT of zeros.
Remember that for every trillion dollars added to the debt, each taxpayer share will go up by around $8,000.
Who is talking about it? Where are the Democrats? Where is Barack Obama to call it unpatriotic? Where are the GOP and Tea Party? I wonder if this happened under a Democratic Congress or a Democratic President, would the GOP be as quiet? Is it possible that for many in DC and the media that politics is just a game to get power? Is it possible people on both sides never mean anything they actually say to win elections?
Conclusion & Warning
America, you are currently being destroyed from within as DC and the media on all sides have successfully put you into opposing camps and pitted you against each other. You can see this in your culture where both sides love to tell you how the other is the real problem with America today. Democrats love to hate on Donald Trump and Republicans by calling them every name under the sun including racist, sexist, homophobic bigots. Republicans love to hate Democrats and the media by calling them socialists and fake news.
When things are about sides, it is incredibly easy and highly likely that principles will be forgotten and cast aside. It becomes the battle between the lesser of two evils. But what happens when BOTH sides suck on an issue? How is that issue ever going to be fixed or highlighted? In this scenario, the only losers are the American people and future generations. This is one issue which should make EVERY American angry because they are borrowing in your name, and in the names of future generations.
The simple fact is if tomorrow I became an American citizen I would owe around a million dollars to the government as a taxpayer over a number of years. Would I move if I ever got the opportunity? YES. Your country is still amazing but if you don't address the problems, one day that will change. Ask yourself some questions about the million dollars:
- Can you afford to pay your share?
- Could you even afford to pay that over your lifetime?
- Do you know anyone who could?
Ronald Reagan was once famously asked about how to reduce the size of the government – his response was the same way you keep your virtue. Learn to say no. If America does not learn this lesson and soon, your people and future generations will pay a heavy price by losing any freedoms and opportunities you have.