Skip to comments.America’s Dreadful Debt Legacy
Posted on 02/15/2013 3:13:36 AM PST by Kaslin
Americans live in a consumer culture. We like to buy things. When we cant afford to purchase something we really want, we turn to credit cards and loans, even though we end up paying more due to interest payments. Over half the population paid interest on credit cards in the past year. Buy now pay later. This mindset has resulted in the plague of personal debt many families struggling with. Unfortunately the buy now pay later mentality is not limited to the individual consumer, Americans are also inclined to incur debt to fund government projects we cant afford. But with government projects, buy now doesnt necessarily mean we will have to pay later. Future generations will be on the hook instead.
In California local school districts have become some of the worst abusers of passing on debt to future generations. Since 2007 school districts in the state have used capital appreciation bonds to spend over $7 billion to fund various construction projects. In some cases interest payments alone on the debt total almost 10 times the amount borrowed.
Santa Ana Unified School District used capital appreciation bonds to borrow $35 million to build new classrooms. The tax obligation to repay the loan will not begin until the year 2026, when taxpayers will have to repay an accumulated balance of $340 million to repay the original $35 million.
Folsom Cordova Unified School District will have to repay $630 million on a $164 million bond, and an additional $514,000 bond will cost taxpayers in the district $9.1 million.
Poway Unified School District borrowed $105 million to modernize school buildings. For borrowing $105 million in 2011, taxpayers will end up paying investors more than $981 million by 2051. Thats almost $1 billion to repay just over $100 million borrowed. Elected officials, who want to buy what they cant afford, and the public, who dont want their taxes raised, are complicit in passing on huge debt to generations that arent even born yet.
Los Angeles County Treasurer, Mark Saladino, issued a warning to school finance officials in California about the consequences of long-term capital appreciation bonds.
Apart from its overall cost, theres another reason why Poways massive capital appreciation bond should matter to taxpayers.
In 20 years, the school district will be on the hook for its first payment towards last years loan. That payment will be a little more than $30 million, $24 million of which is interest.
The following year, the payment will balloon to almost $47 million. And, for the next 18 years after that, until 2051, district taxpayers will have to pay about $50 million every year towards the debt essentially paying off their initial loan every two years for the next two decades.
School districts will be burdened with debt and decaying infrastructure passed on to them from decisions made by people who are no longer in office, taxpayers who may have moved out of the district, and in some cases, by those who are no longer even living. Those who incur this debt get the immediate benefit of the money spent, and bond holders rake in a fortune - all at the expense of those who have the misfortune of repaying this debt for years to come.
This complete disregard for future taxpayers is shocking. Its like having a credit card we dont personally have to repay. We buy now someone else pays later. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to bond debt as a gift from our future. That debt is not a gift, its theft.
America has a spending problem that is leading to a debt problem. Spending is restrained when funds are limited. When there is no skin in the game costs are irrelevant. Responsible spending requires that we spend within our means. If Americans continue to feed their appetite for purchasing what we cant afford, and passing the costs on to future taxpayers, this generation will be remembered for leaving a dreadful legacy.
(VIDEO: $100 Million School Loan Costs Taxpayers Almost $1 Billion)
As California goes, so goes the nation?
Johnny the good news is you have a new school!
The bad news is YOU get to pay for it over and over and over and over and over......
"I waz in da wrong $^&*ing business!"
Our government should print our nation’s money, not the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.
Step 1. The Fed Open Market Committee approves the purchase of U.S. Bonds on the open market.
Step 2. The bonds are purchased by the New York Federal Reserve Bank from whomever is offering them for sale on the open market.
Step 3. The Fed pays for the bonds with electronic credits to the sellers bank, which in turn credits the sellers bank account. These credits are based on nothing tangible. The Fed just creates them from thin air.
Step 4. The banks use these deposits as reserves. Most banks may loan out ten times (10x) the amount of their reserves to new borrowers, all at interest. This is called Fractional reserve banking.
In this way, a Fed purchase of, say a million dollars worth of bonds, gets turned into over 10 million dollars in bank deposits. The Fed, in effect, creates 10% of this totally new money and the banks create the other 90%.
But these Federal Reseve Notes are debt, from the American people to the owners of the banks. And people wonder why the U.S. is so deeply in debt?
That is too true. And with the added dimension that politicians have always seen the promise and delivery of entitlements as a sure fire vote-getting move. They have pawned our future for THEIR term in office. Of course, their moment in the sun has all the perks and other opportunities for graft which go along with it.
This ‘spend like a drunken sailor’ behavior is positively irresistible to them and they can hardly help themselves. For most, I am sure it is their ONLY motivation for a career in civil service.
In this regard, no truer words were ever spoken than by O'Rourke:
“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.” P. J. O'Rourke
Parents want to be gods to their children, they want to compensate for their lack of quality time with their children, or they just want CONTROL of their children. So, they overspend and indulge the child in all and every kind of toy. The newest, shiniest, most noisy and ‘must-have’ gadget is given to the child who will be amused only so long as nothing newer and shinier is available!!
Governments (read: people ‘representing’ us and who were voted into office by these same lazy parents) throw entitlements at us and for much the same reasons that these parents indulge their children. Mostly, government is a bottomless trough of easy money readily accessed by mediocre individuals who have only enough skill and craftiness to get themselves voted into office....and who enjoy all this gratis with the certainty that nothing will impede or interfere with their continuation in this scam-as long as they perpetually throw money around like it's confetti!!