In 2007 the U.S. federal government collected $2.5 trillion in revenue, an amount equal to 18.8 percent of GDP. Federal revenue has ranged from 14.4 to 20.9 percent of GDP over the past five decades, averaging 18.0 percent. The individual income tax has been the largest single source of federal revenue since 1950, averaging just over 8 percent of GDP. - Tax Policy Center
By Don Koenig, The Prophetic Years
Originally Published in 2000 with 2008 Update
Almost every nation of the world has such severe debt that just making the interest payments takes a large amount of their financial resources. Much of this world debt is owed to world bankers that then dictate their own economic policy to these countries. These policies do not favor the poor.
The largest economy in the world is the United States. The U.S. government is currently 10 trillion dollars in debt and that is projected to go to 11 trillion or more in two years. Paying the interest on that huge debt in future years will cost about as much as what is spent on national defense (using modern historical interest rates and the cost of defense under normal peace time conditions).
The United States is now by far the biggest debtor nation in the world. For many years we have been importing hundreds of billions more dollars in goods and services than we are exporting each year. In 2005 through 2008 the trade imbalance averaged well over 700 billion dollars per year! Trillions of U.S. dollars are now in the hands of foreign investors who at any time could dump the dollar causing a devaluation of the currency.
Just a few years ago, the U.S. government was forecasting surpluses of trillions of dollars based on the stupid assumption that there would not be a downturn in the economy for decades. This foolish assumption was of course proven wrong and deficit spending has returned to well over "four hundred billion dollars" a year.
The only reason the United States is not feeling the pinch of spending beyond its means has been the record low interest rates. The low interest rates were brought about by Federal Reserve manipulation to stimulate the economy, but interest rates now will rise. Soon all who need loans will be making higher payments, and the U.S. government will be paying much more to service the national debt.
Debt and unfunded liabilities promised through entitlement programs is now over 50 trillion dollars. This amount of money in non inflationary dollars is impossible to raise! Thus, the U.S. is now technically bankrupt. In order to keep up the facade that the U.S. is solvent for even another decade or two, one or more of the following must happen.
1. Taxes must be raised.
2. Government spending will have to be drastically cut.
3. Deficit spending will dramatically increase.
If taxes are raised, it will kill the economy and the debt load will get worse and not better. Spending will not be drastically cut because these types of cuts would never get through the political system. Therefore, massive deficit spending will take place.
The monetary system will be inflated so that this debt can be paid by using a dollar worth only a fraction of what it is today. This means a much weaker dollar in the future and much higher prices for all goods and services imported to the United States (in short it means we should expect hyper-inflation).
The recent rise in all commodity prices might just be the start of what is to come. The best long term scenario is that the economy will expand for decades and we will partly grow our way out of this debt crunch (like we temporarily did under Ronald Reagan). But, I do not see stability for that length of time as even a remote possibility in this world full of crises.
I think it is only a matter of time before a downturn in the economy or an unforeseen world event brings about the collapse of this house of cards.
The catalyst for a crash can come in any number of ways. One likely scenario is that confidence in the U.S. dollar will falter. When this happens, interest rates will have to rise dramatically to try to lure foreign investors to re-service our debt. Higher interest rates will then shut down our economy and less tax money will be raised. The debt will still have to be paid at the higher interest rate, so the government will print even more money, and deficit spending will increase. The dollar will fall in value against other currencies, bringing about an inflation spiral in the United States and even more dumping of U.S. dollars for a more stable currency.
Banks and financial institutions holding today's unrealistic low interest loans on property will go under, causing a collapse of pension systems and/or a taxpayer bailout that will worsen the deficits even further. Many with adjustable rate mortgages will not be able to make the payments and will default on their loans. The foreclosed houses will be dumped on the market, bringing a collapse in all home values. All this in effect will cause an inflationary depression in the largest economy in the world.
The fall of the U.S. economy will have a domino effect: it will bring about a worldwide depression that will further depress the U.S. economy, and it will bring about a full fledged inflationary depression worse than the great depression of the 1930's. When this happens, most companies will go bankrupt and will be nationalized.
In the year 2000, when I first wrote about the coming economic crash caused by debt, the stock market was 300 percent overvalued. Since then the market has gone down and has gone back up, and it is now a bear market. When inflation and the fall of the dollar over the past seven years are factored in, stocks are doing much worse then in the year 2000. If investors today had a proper perspective on interest rates, the falling dollar, record oil prices, record deficit spending, the housing crash, terrorism, and the coming conflict with Iran, the value of stocks would decline to less then half of what it is in the summer of 2008. They will!
Paper money is only worth what it can be traded for in real goods and services. The United States record deficit spending is putting cash into the economy but, like all who spend beyond their means, the bill will come due. Soon foreign investors will lose confidence and others that hate the U.S. will deliberately cause more pain, and the dollar will fall like a rock.
The fall of the dollar has already begun. The U.S. dollar only buys half of what it did in Europe only a few years ago. Only time will tell if the current fall of the dollar will briefly stop or continue descending into a worse crises. Meanwhile, if there is another downturn anytime soon caused by economics or terrorism, or further collapse of housing, we will not be able to buy our way out of it again without hyper-inflation.
Inflationary Depression Worse Than the Great Depression
Two thirds of the families in the U.S. are now invested in the stock market compared to three percent in the great crash of 1929. When the economic crash comes, retirement accounts, mutual funds and most paper wealth will be wiped out. Most banks and financial institutions will fail, be bailed out, or be taken over by the government (causing further devaluation of the dollar). Most people making a living on the service sector of our economy will be unemployed. Prices on everything made in this country will either deflate or paper money will lose most of its value. The resultant depression will affect everyone, and it will be the worst that this nation has ever known.
When the U.S. economy goes down, it will take the world economy with it. This economic collapse will cause great civil unrest all over the world: cities will be filled with riots and later with troops. Democracy will be dead, and people will look to demigods to solve their problems. When the economy of the West crashes, Russia may get ideas to invade the Middle East to seize its riches.
This day will not take some of the elite of the world by surprise: they know that this day is coming (Satan pulls their strings). At the appropriate time, the solution to the crises will be to abolish almost all debt and all savings and to start over with a new world economic system that will set the stage for the end time economic system described in the book of Revelation.
There is little question that the world debt crash is coming. It does not even have to start in the United States (it could begin in Japan, China, Europe or elsewhere). The only question is the timing of this crash. The world debt situation is so bad now, that a deliberate or accidental crash could occur at any time. The world bankers and world leaders have been putting off the inevitable by huge bailouts and extensions of debts, but with these bailouts there is loss of sovereignty to world government and world bankers. They will continue in this mode until the house of cards collapses of its own weight, someone pulls a card, or some large scale economic disruption blows this house of cards over.
Students of Bible prophecy know that a new world economic system will be set up under a world government where no one will be able to buy or sell unless they take the "mark of the beast." The formerly debt-ridden world will embrace this worldwide cashless monetary system after the crash because a new system will wipe out most debt and all nations will start afresh. This new economic system will promise great prosperity to the world.
Signs of the Time
There is unparalleled greed and foolishness happening in the financial markets of today. People have lost their ability to reason. Like gamblers at casinos, the day traders believe that they cannot lose. They think the stock market will always go up. When they take a loss, they just double up on their bets. At the high roller's table, there are the derivative speculators that are gambling trillions and whole corporations on the wheel of fortune.
We allow government to spend more than it collects and thus defer the bills to our children with little thought to the consequences it will have for them. The Scripture says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Even many Christians have embraced these evils. The number one message preached today in Christian media and in pulpits is "give us money." God has blessed the United States because of His people, but greed will ultimately bring correction.
The massive world debt load argues that borrowers have become enslaved by the lenders and will do their wishes. On a temporal national level, this means that debt-ridden nations must fall in line with the agenda of the globalist socialist elite or they will find themselves in a depression. In the longer term, when Satan is ready for his man to take control of the world, this generation will see a total crash of the old economic system. The solution of the new economic system will bring the 666 "mark of the beast" and enslavement.
Don Koenig actually wrote this article in 2000 and updated some figures and inserted a few comments in 2008.