Jason Hartman hosts an interesting interview with Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, author of The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, Our Economy, regarding the problems with the economy and the effect that the astronomical national debt and government spending will have on generations to come.
Professor Kotlikoff paints a picture of the magnitude of these issues very clearly, explaining that the fiscal gap is $211 trillion. He explains that we would have to raise every federal tax immediately and permanently by 64 percent or cut all non-interest spending by the government (Medicare, Social Security, defense spending, etc) by 40 percent. “The country is broke, totally broke,” says Professor Kotlikoff. He emphasizes that this applies to today, not 75 years down the road.
Jason and Professor Kotlikoff also discuss why the 2007 quadrupled money base through money printing hasn’t hit the streets yet in the form of hyperinflation. Essentially, banks are being bribed to hold money reserves by the Fed.
In simplistic terms, the Federal Reserve prints the money, lends it out at very low interest rates to the banks, and then the banks deposit it back with the Federal Reserve and get a higher interest rate. This makes banks more solvent over time without the public ever knowing what is going on. Professor Kotlikoff also talks about a proposal to fix the financial system, which he refers to as a fragile system, presently a “trust me” banking system where the public is unaware of what the banks are doing with their money.