Certified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here Monday mornings.
It finally happened. Last week, one of the big bond rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s, put a “negative” watch on U.S. government debt. This is the first time the good old US of A isn’t AAA-rated with a “stable” outlook.
How long can we spend $1.40 for every $1 we bring in? According to S&P, the chickens will come home to roost as early as 2013 if Washington doesn’t start getting our nation’s finances in order.
The credit watchdogs are rightfully worried the right and the left won’t come to an agreement to reduce deficits until it’s too late, resulting in a possible downgrade of our actual bond rating, from AAA to AA, and not just a downgrade in the “outlook.”
Among the stunning numbers behind S&P’s downgrade:
• Total outstanding public debt: $14.26 trillion, aka $14,260,000,000,000.00. That’s a lot of zeros.
• GDP in