This past weekend, CNBC reported the common right-wing meme that the United States is “$16 trillion in the hole,” and translated it to mean we’re broke.
According to financial services expert Cullen Roche, this is simply not true. While, yes, the national debt is around $16 trillion, the U.S. owns hundreds of trillions of dollars in assets that more than offset its liabilities.
–More than $150 trillion in fossil fuel resources. That’s 55 times the amount cited by CNBC’s report.
–Trillions of dollars in federally-owned land. A quick Google search indicates that the U.S. owns around 650 million acres of land.
–Vast gold resources.
–Trillions invested in “the Fed and Social Security funds.”
Roche estimates a total net worth of $200 trillion in federal assets. He concludes:
And none of this even touches on the operational realities behind the United States monetary system and the fact that we’re not going bankrupt unless we choose to go bankrupt. So don’t fret. The United States is not in the hole. Not even remotely close.
So the next time a tea party Republican invokes Greece while claiming the U.S. is bankrupt, feel free to tell them they suck at basic math and 101-level finance.