Interest on the federal debt is expected to rival defense spending by 2017, totaling nearly $566 billion annually.
Public Notice, an economic-policy non-profit, illustrated in a series of February ads the amount of interest the U.S. Treasury expects to add to the national debt through 2017. In an interview with the Daily Caller, Public Notice policy director Lenwood Brooks put those numbers into perspective.
“The more money you have on your credit card, the more money you’re paying in interest,” Brooks said. “It’s the same way for the government.”
The implications of a runaway national “credit card” debt, Brooks added, can already be seen overseas.
“You can’t go bankrupt as a country,” he warned, “but you have your creditors basically controlling you.”
“Greece is making decisions that are basically being forced upon them by their creditors. … The austerity measures being passed today are [the creditors] running their country,” Brooks explained.
Austerity measures are designed to let Greece’s government function with permanent debt. Those measures include slashing government-funded social programs and infrastructure, and laying off government employees.
As interest on America’s national debt skyrockets, he said, “this is really about leadership, and it’s about recognizing that we are in a very difficult financial situation.”
Taking a cue from Europe, Brooks commented, “Either we can make these hard decisions today … or the creditors will make them for us.”
Bankrupting America’s Debt Graphic: