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The 17 trillion dollar federal debt of the United States is only the tip of the iceberg, according to CEO and business consultant John Boyle, II, who kicked off the Mars Hill University Lecture Series with a lecture titled, “Let’s Save America,” Monday evening in Broyhill Chapel.
When that amount is added to the enormous amount of unfunded liabilities for which the government is responsible – including obligations to Social Security, Medicare, and government pensions - the effective debt of the United States is closer to $77 trillion, Boyle said. This is approximately five times the Gross Domestic Product of the US. By comparison, the City of Detroit went bankrupt when its effective debt reached 2.5 times its GDP.
“The United States makes Detroit look like a paradigm of responsibility,” Boyle said.
According to Boyle, such an enormous debt is a weight around the neck of a country which must compete with the world.
“If we’re constantly doing the backstroke just to keep our nose above water, we’re not going to be thinking about greatness,” he said.
Furthermore, the current trajectories of growth in both production and debt spell certain eventual collapse of the financial system of the US, he said.
Boyle shared statistics which showed that the effective debt of the US is a figure that has climbed in its relationship to production over a period of fifty years. He laid the blame for the mounting problem at the feet of both parties, innumerable sessions of Congress, and an incomprehensible tax code written in large part to pacify lobbyists.
Boyle’s prescription for recovery borrows heavily from economist Warren Buffet’s famous comments about ending the deficit. Buffet once proposed reforming Congress to remove congressional pension and tenure, to disallow congressionally-voted pay raises, and to make congress subject to social security, and all subsequent programs passed.
Boyle also recommends a consumption tax which closes loopholes, and a ban on former lobbyists serving in Congress.
According to Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford, the University Lecture Series is intended to bring distinguished and knowledgeable individuals to campus to lecture on a wide range of timely and timeless topics which complement the university’s emphasis on the liberal arts. While this lecture explored economics and debt in the United States, future programs include bringing scientists, artists, researches and other experts to share their knowledge with Mars Hill students and with the public at large.
Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree in elementary education. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina.www.mhu.edu.