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Letter: Our country’s assets far outnumber debts

Our country’s assets far outnumber debts

Editorial cartoonist Lisa Benson in The News, Apr. 21, drew an Obamaphobic half truth regarding the deficit. President Ronald Reagan assured us that “deficits don’t matter.” He, along with Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, increased our debt ninefold. It would appear that deficits are for good or ill depending on the affiliation of the White House occupant.

Organizations, businesses and governments publish financial reports that include liabilities (debts) and assets (cash, securities, plus the capacity to generate cash – property plant equipment, natural resources). Were Benson to access Google and type in “assets of the U.S.” she would find our assets are conservatively estimated at $160 trillion, or 10 times the debt. A case can easily be made for them to be double that when one adds in all our mines, wells, forests, unemployed people, idle manufacturing, research, and educational facilities, which assures foreigners of the value of U.S. Treasuries, selling at close to zero percent interest.

Our assets have grown faster than the debt for the last 70 years. The publicized debt clock does not have a mirror asset clock. May I suggest that for cartoonists unable to distinguish an asset from an elbow, a little veritas and humor would be appreciated.

Ross Markello

Amherst