I saw where someone said the average American family has $700,000 of debt when all personal, mortgage, banking, corporate and government debt is included.
This is not the right calculation since we owe some of these debts to each other, for example corporations and banks partly borrow from individuals and their insurance accounts and their pensions.
I think the right calculation is that in about five years we will have $20 trillion of gross government debt, not including liability of SS and Medicare or about $130,000 of government debt per family. Typical families have another $10,000 of personal and credit card and student loan and car loan debt and probably another $75,000 of mortgage debt for a grand total of some $215,000 per family.
Imagine going into a bank and asking for a mortgage and having to tell them about your government debt load and include it in your total indebtedness. Very few would qualify for a new mortgage if they had to tell their bankers they had another $130,000 of debt hidden from their personal balance sheet.
I think only Greece exceeds us in this calculation (I am sure Japan does also but I think they are sitting on a trillion of reserves), where each family has $175,000 of government debt, not only did the Gtreeks need EU and IMF support, they didn’t restructure their debt or force the bank creditors to take a haircut in the “refinancning” so now Greeks make less due to cutbacks but their debt load per family has not changed, that is why they will default in future.