by Bill Holter, Miles Franklin:
I promised I would write a piece that explains why the “we owe it to ourselves” explanation of our national debt is pure hogwash. The thought process is that since “we owe it to ourselves” who cares how much total debt we have because it just doesn’t matter. If we defaulted, we would only be defaulting on ourselves so no harm no foul. This fallacy can be taken apart from several different angles so let’s explore a few of them.
From one angle, let’s look at this from a balance sheet perspective. If we “owe” something but that “something” is also an asset then they just cancel each other out right? Well yes, sort of but you also must look at this from a “quality” standpoint. If we owe “too much” and the debt becomes unpayable from a practical or mathematical standpoint then just how “good” is the asset (Treasury bond) that we claim on our balance sheet?
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