The Phaserl


$205 TRILLION: The REAL Fiscal Gap — Laurence Kotlikoff

from SGT

Laurence Kotlikoff Author and Professor of Economics at Boston University joins us to discuss the REAL DEBT of the U.S. government which is now $205 TRILLION when unfunded liabilities are actually counted.

Kotlikoff warns, “We have a country that is entirely broke, fiscally broke.”

In an e-mail to me on Monday Kotlikoff wanted to clarify: “And it’s not broke in 50 years, or 30 years, or 10 years. It’s broke today. It’s in worse fiscal shape than any developed country and its accounting would make Enron and Madoff blush.”

To my great surprise, Kotlikoff also believes that fixing “climate change” ought to be a top priority and he somehow believes that a global carbon tax offers a viable way to “fix” it. Seriously. We debate it.

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32 comments to $205 TRILLION: The REAL Fiscal Gap — Laurence Kotlikoff

  • Warp

    This professor seems to be a high-functioning sleeper.

    Well-wrapped in the pedagogy of his environs.

    So, China will think twice about its use of coal power plants if the US government threatens to impose tariffs? I guess he has never heard of the WTO… Good luck with that. There’s a dangerous blend of idealism and “forced altruism” which are the hallmarks of oppressive totalitarian statism that I detect from the professor that gives me pause.

    Sean, you have balls for posting this interview even though I get the impression that the discussion did not go in the direction that you were expecting. Props on not just letting the claims go unanswered.

    • SGT

      You are EXACTLY right Warp, I had no idea he believed this “climate change” stuff – and I was particularly shocked to find out that he somehow believes that carbon taxes could be a solution for ANYTHING.

      In my view, Kotlikoff needs to listen to Lord Christopher Monckton about the LIES of “global warming” and the hoax of carbon taxes paid to the same globalists who have destroyed so much already.

      • Warp

        I don’t find it surprising. He’s a uni professor in Boston. One who goes to bed with dogs is likely to wake up with fleas.

      • Ed_B

        SGT & Warp… Kotlikoff is one of the few economists who is not completely demented. But he really needs to stick to economics and leave environmental science to those who understand science. Raising taxes in general, and this silly carbon tax in particular, will not add a thing to anyone’s personal income or standard of living.

        I don’t expect leftists to understand this, but… carbon is FOOD, carbon is fuel, carbon is LIFE. To be anti-carbon is to be against life itself. No plant on Earth can fix carbon from the soil. They need this vital atom to construct everything that they are, meaning hydrocarbons like sugars and cellulose. There is one and only one place where they can get this vital nutrient and that is from the atmosphere. Yes, that would be from the CO2 that they inhale from the atmosphere. That would be the very same CO2 that all animals exhale, completing the circle of life that ties plants and animals into a perfect and viable symbiotic relationship. Ask those who are in love with the environment but know next to nothing about it this question sometime, “If you could remove ALL CO2 from the atmosphere, would you do it? Over 90% of them will say “YES!” to this. The other 10% will think that it is a trick question. OK, fine. Do that and then watch as 99.99% of the life on this planet ceases to exist. Great job, people. Way to go. As in NOT.

        I agree that the environment is a critically important issue but also think that WAY too many people have far more concern about it than they do scientific understanding of it… concerned ignorance really is not sufficient to address our problems, whether fiscal, monetary, or environmental.

    • Frank Zak

      It is good he deals with facts and figures. These types
      are sometimes not much aware of the NWO, but just the same,
      hard facts are always welcome.

  • Warp

    OTOH, the WTO is yet another arm of Rocky’s monster, so they’d probably actively help usher in such diabolical works, specifically because of how destructive they are to the well-being of the general populace.

    Statist scum abound. I started to fall back into their mass delusion of the false dichotomy again.

  • Steve_D

    This guy really is coming at this from a Statist pro bank viewpoint, Force people to save? The only way you can force people to do anything is down the barrel of a gun or with the threat of loss of freedom (Jail time)
    Also how do people save when they are out of work struggling to pay bills or being taxed to death & having their wealth continually stolen through inflation?

    Then he wants to enforce austerity on the nation in order to bail out the criminal Banksters once more…. How about just telling the ONE BANK to eat their debt, we’re going back to sound money, they’ve stolen from us for years, enough is enough.

    And the cherry on the icing on top of the cake…… Carbon taxes to fix a non existent global warming/ climate change hoax,

  • I had to stop listening after the carbon tax statement.

    The whole premise of ANY tax is wrong. I can’t support anyone recommending more.

  • Steve_D

    By the way Sean I’ll give you an ounce of Silver in exchange for a ticket to your Zoo. 😉

  • Milpolice

    Kotlikoff I think is part of the problem, he really showed his cards with his carbon tax and his mindless belief in the magical global warming scam. This guy will always sleep with the most popular belief in the moment. He knows the end of the dollar is near so he is jumping ship now. But if you listen to him he is a Communist/Socialist and a big government guy. He is right about his assessment of how we track our debt, but he loves government. I went to his Common Sense Tax website and wow, he punishes people who work. Single folks making over 50K are taxed at 25%!!!!

  • Suzanne

    It boggles the mind that these so-called economists can’t wrap their heads around the fact that the Fed is inventing $130 billion a month out of thin air and the debt to GDP was well past 100% years ago.

  • Phil Downunder

    Hey Sean,

    Just finished listening to Part 1 of the Kotlikoff interview and am just regaining the power of speech. Kotlikoff is well meaning, no doubt but he’s a collectivist. Say no more.

    I have good friends in University positions in Australia who ridicule me as an uninformed buffoon who “doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change”. I constantly correct them that I DEFINITELY AGREE that the climate changes constantly (just ask the dinosaurs) but that to devise an Enron-style carbon credit derivatives trading system for the benefit of the ONE BANK, is tantamount to global economic suicide. Needless to say, their eyes generally glaze over…

    My friends are sincere in their convictions that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind and that “something” must be done. They are not evil, bankster types, but their professional and economic lives depend on them going along with the status quo in their academic circles. Needless to say, the academic circles they exist in all live off the largess of the government (aka the taxpayer).

    We face an uphill battle.

    • SGT

      I hear ya Phil. It was hard to get a word in edgewise and remain cordial.

    • Fred Hayek

      Phil, for a lot of these guys safe in their little academia game preserves, protected from the icky real world, the whole environmental thing is just the latest transition from the worker’s paradise justification for running everyone else’s life. As a friend once put it, environmentalists are almost all watermelons. Green on the outside but red on the inside.

      First these people to create a workers’ paradise. But then people like them with the same intention got power in several countries and destroyed all of them. And the destruction and terror was so obvious that anyone could humiliate them in a debate about it. That just wouldn’t do!

      But how to replace this overarching justification? Milder versions were advocated and tried but they also ran into the problem of failing almost exactly to the degree that they were tried. And there were usually elements of concern for proletarians mixed into the pitch by continuing advocates of running everyone’s life. The problem is that people like your friends in academia usually have a starkly condescending hate for actual lower class citizens.

      So, the whole environmental game solves a couple problems at once. For one, there isn’t a century’s worth of evidence that it’s counterproductive like there is for the worker’s paradise pitch. And your friends in academia don’t have to pretend even the slightest affection for blue collar workers. They don’t have to indulge that artifice at all. In fact, they can adopt what they think is a position of moral high ground and brow beat all the proles who they formerly had to pretend affinity for but who actually disgust them.

      The beauty of this scheme is so enticing to them that they can’t be bothered for a moment to consider that scientists like Richard Lindzen of MIT or Freeman Dyson don’t agree with their purported consensus. They can’t be bothered for a moment to consider the rampant corruption in the field shown by the leaks of emails from british scientists around 2010. If they actually cared about the science, these would be big problems. But because what most of them are really looking for is a justification for what they’ve wanted all along, to run other people’s lives, they don’t hesitate for a moment.

  • Hondo Stalwart

    Nice guy, but this gentlemen lives in a textbook and appears somewhat delusional. … He would likely loose his cushy job and paycheck if he would sing our song.

  • Kurt

    Stopped listening at the carbon tax endorsement. I heard this fellow interviewed by Chris Waltzek and liked what he had to say then. Now, not so much.

  • I suppose this jerk agrees with agenda 21 too. He’s of the same ilk as Chomsky. All these guys are worried about is their tenure and pleasing their masters. Either one of them disgust me. One thing I notice in this ‘climate change debate’ is that the debate should be ‘man-made climate change’ and they avoid saying that. It’s as if we can control sun spots and cows farting heats up the earth. But, it is good to interview these guys, it really shows what our education system has become. Well done guys, I am not disappointed in everyone’s response.

  • Warp

    I’ve thought about it more.

    It seemed like such a non-sequitur to bring up AGW in this conversation, it almost seemed like the intellectual equivalent of a photobomb, something that could totally change the character of the picture presented and perhaps make it more difficult to present it to the audience. He may really feel strongly about the issue, but alternately, it could be a tactic to poison the well.


  • Milpolice

    Hando I couldn’t agree more Kotlikoff is the poster boy why the bible glorifies wisdom above all else and not intelligence.

  • duffer


    I hope you don’t have this global warming carbon tax whacko on again. I couldn’t even listen to the rest after that.

  • Force people to do this, to do that. Tax them for this & that, the very air they breath.

  • Scott Wolf

    Apparently Mr. Kotlikoff is unable to grasp the unwelcome reality that it is the global monetary system which needs reform-for the longer the dollar remains the world’s reeserve currency,the worse this situation will get.What is this nonsense of a carbon tax?Pure sophistry.

    And what does it say about our economic situation now that emerging markets are totally dependent on the hot money flows from the Fed while our markets are simultaneously dependent on the labor and carry trade arbitrage these markets offer?Disgusting.I hope the Fed does taper another $10B tomorrow,as this will continue to crush the free money fiat freaks.Nobody wants our bonds!THIS WILL MATTER AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE.

    Until global economic governance includes something resembing a reintroduction of Glass-Steagall and a return to a gold standard,the U.S. central planners will continue to destroy all manner of western life for the sake of a select few elites contributing nothing but misery and suffering to this world.

    Sean,I have a new article that I would like to forward to you.May I do so?

  • Billybob

    Tough to listen to after the carbon tax propounding–uh oh, technocrat espousing austerity and carbon taxes for the serfs. Thought Sean did an excellent job addressing the issue…so worth the full 1st half of interview. Kudos SGT, well done!

    Found this gem today. Yes, the world banksters call for international ‘carbon pricing’ to ‘rescue climate’…not to salvage the global Ponzi scheme, of course:

    Damn the torpedoes, the slaves will pay for the very air they breathe if they like it or not!

    • SGT

      You’re kind, thanks Billybob. I’m gettin’ hammered in the YT comments for the words my ‘guest’ spoke. Seems some folks believe I have control over the words people speak as well as their beliefs.

  • Phil Downunder

    Hey Billybob,

    Just read your “gem” re: the Meisters of the World at Davos renewing their call for a world carbon tax.

    We missed a great opportunity at Davos. We should have cordoned off the whole town and arrested the lot of them in one fell swoop.(or nuked the joint- only joking guys!!)

    Would have saved us a lot of trouble.

  • messianicdruid

    Sean, you must be over the target – I got a warning about “unsafe website” or some garbage just now when I clicked on the comments.

  • Fred Hayek

    Sean, I thought you handled it very well. You let the guy speak his piece but objected in a polite way.

    I totally disagree with this guy’s insane devotion to the carbon tax. How can anyone imagine that that money wouldn’t just be flushed down the 5hithole even if AGW *was* true?

    But I think it’s a good thing for the site to include interviews with men whose views are quite sensible in many ways even if they go comically off the rails in others. It’s dangerous to only want complete agreement. You and the readers are smart enough to separate the truth from the folly.

    • SGT

      Thank you very much Fred. I posted it because I asked him on, had not idea he’d go that way – but he’s entitled to his opinions. I just wish I had known he wanted to go there, the issue deserves to be debated – though it was certainly not the reason I had invited him on.

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