Amherst Wire

Economic Stimulus 101 – Part 4

Posted March 12, 2009
 
Economic Stimulus 101

Can we spend our way out of a bad economy? Explore the costs, benefits and impacts.
$10.9

trillion

Total U.S. national debt as of March 2009. That’s $35,853.31 per citizen. Source: U.S. National Debt Clock.
 

Note: Adobe Flash is required to view the videos. Download it here.

National Debt
Who holds the national debt?

“$5 trillion are held by the government itself, $6 trillion are held by the public.”
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“How much is coming from other countries? I think on the order of 20 percent.”
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Does a high national debt hurt us? Some sides of the debate:

“Somebody is going to have to pay for the interest on all this debt, and it’s going to come from future generations.”
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“There are several reasons you do not want the debt to become too high.”
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“When you look at the empirical data, it’s hard to find any relationships between the federal debt and the economy.”
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Will excessive debt affect the United States’ ability to borrow? What happens if the value of the dollar drops?

“The crucial thing is that investors will need assurance the deficit won’t spiral out of control.”
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“At some point we need to balance our trade and that will involve a devaluation of the dollar.”
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The S-Word
Are the Obama administration’s policies moving us toward socialism?

“Socialist, I wouldn’t call it… you might say that it has more of a social-democratic flavor.”
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“I’m less concerned about what we call it than what it accomplishes.”
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“The general policy of the Obama administration is chaos right now.”
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How do we define the U.S. economy, nationalization and socialism?

U.S. economy is “highly regulated capitalism with a moderate safety net.”
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“Nationalization has become this catch-word that means all things to all people.”
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“What we don’t have is economic democracy.”
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Produced by Jackie Hai, Richard Caesar and Frank Godinho, AmherstWire.com.

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Economic Stimulus 101 – Part 4