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America’s Smoldering Volcano of Debt

Jul 25, 2023

On June 2nd, just days before the government was to run out of money to pay the nation's bills on time, congress passed a bipartisan debt ceiling deal hailed by its backers as a major budget achievement. That package, called the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, is projected to lower federal deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Nevertheless, America's smoldering volcano of debt will continue to reach new heights, climbing to a record high of 107% of GDP in 2029, up from 98% of GDP at the end of this year. Even after Republicans and Democrats reached their deal to chip away at the federal deficit.

In other words, the United States will still owe more than our economy produces each year. To put this in perspective, in 2029, our debt will total about $36 trillion, or $104,300 per person. That's up another $11 trillion over the next six years. And this is after the big deficit reduction package Congress passed in June. There are costs and risks associated with these high and rising debts. There's slower economic growth and a weakened national defense. There's the potential for higher taxes and cuts to crucial programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And there are higher interest payments to foreign holders of our national debt, such as the Chinese.

So what does this mean for us, for our financial futures? First and foremost, it means that we must plan for the possibility, even the likelihood of much greater economic uncertainty. And as a consequence, we must take command of our own individual financial security. But none of us are fortune tellers. How are we supposed to plan for a future that seems so uncertain and so inscrutable? Our first obligation is to retain some skepticism regarding those who seem too confident in their opinions about the future. I've learned this myself over the years. Approach the future with some humility. Beware of those who claim to see it too clearly.

Events that have swept the globe in recent years have turned the world upside down. Many of the old rules about the economy don't seem to hold any longer. In ways large and small, like it or not, we've all had to adjust our expectations for how the world works these days and for the foreseeable future. So we approach our financial planning by recognizing that we don't have a crystal ball to guide us, that nobody does. Then we start by knowing that we must accommodate this uncertainty, and the way we do that is by building a balanced portfolio that allows us to profit in good times and protect ourselves in hard times. Preserving wealth in difficult times is a crucial role gold plays in many portfolios.

In this respect, I think of gold as a form of wealth insurance, where the rising price of gold often offsets declines in the value of other assets in a portfolio. Gold fulfilled this wealth preservation role time and again in periods of economic and political turmoil. If you would like to learn more about how you can tap the wealth preservation aspect of gold to secure your financial well-being, I urge you to contact one of our team members at U.S. Money Reserve. That's why we're here to help you determine if gold, silver, platinum, or palladium has a place in your financial plans. Thank you.

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