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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Want Secession? Get Ready To Pay Your Share Of The National Debt

With all the crazy talk about states seceding from the USA, I wondered how much a state the size of Wisconsin would owe to the federal government for it’s share of the national debt if indeed the state decided to pull out. Even though a secessionist state would no longer be responsible for future U.S. debt, its current and unpaid share of the debt including it's share of Social Security would still be an outstanding liability.

I first looked at some numbers from the U.S. Senate Republican’s Budget Committee where they have a built-in calculator to measure individual’s share of the national debt based upon date of birth and long-term debt projections. According to their calculator, a person born Jan.1, 1955 owes a lifetime (as of today) share of $132,408. Born Jan.1, 1980 owes $428,423 and born in 2000 owes $940,396. With moving targets like that, it obviously could get fairly complicated figuring the exact amount how much the entire state owes.

A recent Harvard Study pegged an individual’s share at $106,000. That number seems realistic, but it includes projected debt of which a seceding state would no longer be subjected to.

The Debt Clock Web page puts the average figure at $55,278 for every man, woman and child in the USA based on the country's current real-time debt. That one makes it easy for this posting.

So it’s pretty simple.
$55,278 X 5.72M population of Wisconsin = $316,762,160,000.

That’s $317 billion. That’s the amount without including interest, Social Security or other outstanding debts and its' equal to about five state budgets. But remember, paying off debt is not the same as funding a state budget.

$317B is also about half the amount needed to pay off Greece’s total debt. But Greece's population is nearly double that of Wisconsin so the debt load per capita would be practically identical.

Think about that one. Wisconsin's debt would be equal to Greece's and with no chance of growing ourselves out of the debt. Wisconsin would go bankrupt to pay it's bill.

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