tv FOX 10 News Maker Sunday FOX September 11, 2016 5:30am-6:00am MST
thanks for joining us on newsmaker sun. if you want a partisan fight on this program you won't get one today but we will talk about a problem of epic proportions in our country. the debt and deficit. and i want to show you the clock behind me as i introduce our guest, shawn burke. he has written the b set america's reset button. shawn has written this book. it's a work of passion. as we go back to the debt clock here, we are approaching $20 trillion. this is the debt clock clicking behind us. that's a shocking number. >> and it's doubled in the last ten years. if we go ten years ago, it was half that. >> why should somebody sitting at home watching this care about what this that number is.
have two children that are in the early -- late teens and early 20s and in ten years i got concerned when i saw how big the debt is. what's going to happen when they want to buy a house. what's going to be happening with the economy when they really want to get into their careers. i'm here because of that as really starting as a father. i'm a business person. i'm just an american and i just couldn't sit there any more. i got concerned that at some point if we default on this debt, if we can't keep making -- we are borrowing to make payments. first we are borrowing to make the payment. if we can't borrow to make our payments and default, we have a world of hurt. interest rates through the roof. we have u.s. dollar dropping in value. >> 45% of the debt held by the public was owned by foreign investors largest is china and japan. about 1.5 trillion for japan they own and 1.5 trillion for japan. >> right. people talk about who cares if we default on china.
is the government also owes social security by $5 trillion if we default on our debt, then we default on our seniors and all of the corporations that are holding u.s. bonds, u.s. corporations. a lot of people at home in the stock market have u.s. bonds. so you can't just say, hey, who is going to come and collect. i had to go through this myself who will force us to pay. that doesn't matter. yeah, kedefault on china which will hurt world economy, but we will hurt our o the fault is not -- default is not the option. >> we are on an unsustainable path of spending. do we have a taxation problem as well? >> i think at the moment i personally as a business person, i think taxes are too high in a lot of ways. if you get higher, pretty soon you start disincentivizing people to want to make money. and especially the way we have our tiered tax system. you make more, now i have to pay more taxes.
i'm a flat tax guy or even a national sales tax guy. i heard that could be good. but some way we make it so there is an incentive for people to want to go out and make money. i think more taxes is the absolute wrong way to go. >> 20 trillion. i mean, i remember when we hit a trillion and that was a big, big deal that was not that long ago. >> it wasn't. and remember, a trillion is hard for us to even understand what that is. but a trillion seconds years. so a trillion -- the number is so big that we can't even conceive of it. when we look at 20 trillion, it's like monopoly money. it's funny money. we can't receive of that much money. it's hard to even think about it or what to do about it. >> tell me how this is now a drag on our country? >> right now it's a drag because interest rates are being held artificially low. we are trying to stimulate our economy but also the interest rates are so low right now that you, if you are anywhere trying
it's almost impossible. you get what? 1% on -- >> you forced to go in the stock market. >> which is risky. >> the only place to go to make money. >> passbook savings was 5 1/2%. you put money away and put money away and thought if you start your 20s and 30s, you have retirement what do we do with our retirees that are trying to save for the future? that's one of the problems we have interest rates in a lot of ways low is great. as a businessou low. >> good for your mortgage? all of those things. >> as far as savings which is what we need for the future it's difficult to do. that's already a drag on our economy right now is having to keep interest rates so low to push this forward when we have such a large amount of interest we have to pay on our debt. we are over every year on our budget and borrowing for that debt payment. 644million a day we spend just on interest on this.
how much do we spend on education? >> 386 million a day. >> half. >> about half. so it's about twice as much we pay just on interest alone on our debt over education. >> this is money that we are just spending or just throwing away on the interest. >> we pay you and i who might have bonds in the market or china or whatever it is, we have to pay that interest. >> you notice book don't particularly have a solution to this except to start over. you are talking about throwing the bums out. >> i am. and i liken us to the board of directors of our country. when you go back to the constitution, it's our country. yours and mine. citizens country. this is what the beauty was in 1787 when they wrote it the u.s. citizens are in croasm the government is not control over the citizens, it's the other way around. what i say is we elect these representatives to represent us in washington like a management
our government. right now there are 4 million employees in our federal government. and those are our managers. the president and the congress are our managers. if we are the board of directors and we are overseeing this organization, might re-- my search shows in 84 years they have balanced the budget 12 times. in 84 years. so 72 times. 72 years they didn't balance it. any corporation in the world would already be out of business and this isn't a corporation. >> we can >> but that only goes so far. i say as boards of director if you look at the business like that you would start throwing everybody out and replace that management team with a management team that -- you in charge. the board is in charge and the thing right now in washington is our elected leaders are responsible to lobbyists. people who give them money. i think we need to put enough pressure on them from we the people that we will take back control of our country. i say if you aren't happy with your government, you walk into
you elect someone new, take out who is in there and this is non-partisan. i'm not on either side. i say we throw them out and have a revolution because it's what people want. >> how do we know a new group of people would be any more pre-disposed to balancing the budget as these guys? >> the problem is that every politician will tell you what you want to hear. we can't tell them what to say or vote anyway. the only thing i think we can do is vote on performance. performance happens after the fact. right now look at the performance of government. throw them out. give them two more years. the entire house can be thrown out every two years. i think we need to have some kind of pressure on these guys they have to listen to us. >> let's take a historic snapshot, the debt held by the public ila share of the gdp. it peaked after world war ii at 113% of gdp. the debt was 113% of gdp after world war ii because we were still paying for the war effort. >> we were ramping up.
into consumer goods. >> exactly. we have not been at that level until right now. we are right there again pz 105% our debt is to our gdp. >> what does that mean? >> it means it's unsustainable. i think the greece was up at 140% debt to their gdp and they went down. the economists generally don't like to see it over 80%. >> historically we have been around 75%. >> and even lower. and it start ramping up around 2008. >> as a businessman or somebody running a family, you know, you think about your own budget, you would never borrow to that extent ever. >> you couldn't. you could and then you would be bankrupt. and we can't go bankrupt. this isn't a system where we won't pay our bills because later when we want to borrow money, the interest rate we will have to give others to risk
high. so we have to keep our credit standing very, very good so our interest payment on our debt is low. so as a family, it's impossible& that you would think to do this. >> why did you -- let's put up the book again and you have been touring the country. at both conventions. and you wrote america's reset button why? >> how to press america's reset button. i wrote it because i didn't feel i could sit at home any more and not do anything. i will tell you i run into that are out protesting that have never done that before. there is a sense in our country we are turning a corner that may not -- we may not be able to come back from. and i like -- >> you felt that out there. >> i talked to people. i never been out here and they are holding a sign. i talked to them and as a parent and if you are parent you know when your kids are in danger you sense 2. it's almost a sixth sense. i feel what's going on out there with the american public. i had people tell me i don't
i know there is something really wrong going on with our country. there is a broad movement of people who are very disturbed about where we are going and want to make a change and not everyone knows how or what, but they don't like where we are going. >> you picked on this topic why? why did this particular issue resonate with you. >> i couldn't sit still any more and the debt just hit me. i was reading on my computer the news and i had an epiphany. one of those homes where you g oh, my gosh. debating on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. this is back in 2011. in and we have gone through this a couple of times. 95 when republicans took it right to the brink and shut down the government and then 2011. >> and i'm not for more debt, obviously. the solution is not to raise the debt ceiling because what happens we start defaulting. and there was a moment of clarity for me that i realized they don't know what they are
short-term look that they aren't seeing the long term. for my kids, my grand kids. >> their short term to stay in office. >> who will want to run on the platform that we will cut spending and you are not going to have the money you want? it's very difficult to do. so i just didn't feel like i could sit still. i was going to go hole a sign or start a march. sometimes feel like i got to do something and i did my own research and the only thing i could come up with is our vote. is it the only power we have over our government. you can hold up yourself in front of the white house and no one has to listen to you. but i still believe our vote counts. there are people that think maybe we are -- i think our vote counts. you can give someone a job but also take that job away. those are the only two things you can do. >> paul ryan talked about this issue there are a few who have really talked about it. even paul ryan now has been eerily quiet about this issue. why -- the politicians just don't -- i think you articulated
political payoff. >> there isn't. i think it's a flaw. our system is not perfect. it's the only flaw that i can see is that it doesn't behoove anyone to try and knock this down because they probably won't get elected. back in the roman times, rotmans were giving free corn and given carnivals trying to keep the people happy and going. >> pacified. >> it's the same thing that's happening today. we start cutting this. they will be people very unhappy and start electing people i don't know what the solution is other than potentially a balanced budget amend if we can get it done. it's been tried. i don't know. this is -- i think today if they had to redo the constitution our founding fathers and saw where we are at, they would put an economic clamp. maybe it's a section section of our government that this is the budgetary side that isn't political and then the other social stuff is political. >> i thought that was the debt ceiling. kind of a limit.
right through it. >> if you don't, you default. it's the opposite side. you need to put a limit on the spending and the income. balance budget is the only thing i can think where we have to. >> since we were here before in world war ii with this kind of level of debt, which was 113% of gdp in 1945, fell over the following 35 years but in recent decades it's grown again and we are >> it's not recent decades. in ten years it's doubled. so ten years ago it's 9 trillion. so just look at the ten years slice going back -- it's incredible what's happened and this year alone is 600 billion over so if we think of doubling this in the next ten years again? can you imagine $40 trillion in debt. >> i want to get back to this point. we have been here before in world war ii. how did we get out of that then and there is a way to grow our
>> the beauty of world war ii is we had won the war and we had all of these people coming back. >> the peace dividend. >> and everything exploded. babies and the baby boomers and a lot of productivity. we had all of this innovation and all of these new gadgets. and it exploded as far as the economy went. all of the consumerism. here we are -- we aren't in that situation. >> aging population, fewer workers for more government benefits. >> absolutely. our innovations are still coming. the tech industry the cars. but nowhere near the gap that was fighting a war and now this incredible new consumer goods we could do. it's not near that. if we balanced, i believe our economy would grow and this would become less of gdp. but we have to get closer to balancing the budget. >> let's talk about a couple of terms and then take a break. debt and deficit. the national debt is the cumulative of all the deficits we are running. >> right. >> year to year.
debt is the cumulative. that's the cumulative right there. $19trillion. approaching 20 trillion now. >> people hear those numbers so often, in fact in the headlines one day in the news it said, we are celebrating because the deficit has been cut to 250 billion. i thought, okay, the deficit was cut. we aren't talking the debt. we are celebrating because our huge deficit just went down to a little bit less. >> this is the year. year to year. >> year to year and this was a big news that deficit has been cut to 250 billion. we aren't even -- >> still in the red. >> we are celebrating that? that is not what we should celebrate. let's get back to at least balance. >> if you could balance every year, how many years until that number is not so significant? that cumulative number? >> i'm not an economy, but i think in the next -- you do that for five years you are in better shape because the economy keeps growing and as inflation happens
naturally and our economy gets bigger. we need to get back to 80s, 70, 60% of gdp. >> i remember interviewing newt gingrich and he said our problem now is going to be not the debt or the deficit, but how to spend the surplus. because we were running a surplus at that time. one of the few times we did. but again surplus year to year not getting at that number. >> surplus, we had again 12 times in 84 years so we had balance for honestly, three of those years they use social security income as showing that it balanced when really the social security money should be going into its own. >> we borrowed against social security. >> you are really down to nine times in 84 years they balanced the budget. >> before we take a break are you optimistic that there is any hope out there that will get at this? >> no. the only optimism have is that i'm trying to do something.
trying. i don't see anybody in the news talking about it. it's not a topic of our presidential candidates. >> you are right. i was going to ask you that it has not been a topic. >> or the national news media. every american i talk to is completely concerned about this. there is no one that's not. no one in the elected officials or the media is talking about it. >> we will take a break here. we will show you the book one more time. shawn burke has written this book. the book is called how to press america's reset button. trying to deal with this vexing problem of the deficit and cumulatively the debt in america which is now approaching $20 trillion. back in a minute on newsmaker
shawn burke is my guest on newsmaker sun. he has written a provocative book. how to press button and it's his awakening about the problem of this. the national debt which is approaching -- can you make sense of that figure? >> no. and i don't know what we do with it. it's in history it's just an unbelievable number that -- i don't know how we get out of that. >> you talked about ten years ago we were at 9 or 10 trillion and this seemed incredible. i remember when he hit a trillion and that was a big deal
i'm trying to remember what year that was. that may have been late 80s or early 90s. this number is staggering. let me show some video from the iraq war because a lot has been talked about of where we got on this trajectory. did incursions into other countries and war efforts start us down this path recently? >> well, i would say just from my opinion it's very expensive to wage war and the iraq war the amount of money that was expended on that and still mired in it still tied up in that area is unfortunate. >> that was under a republican president. president bush. >> bush left -- when bush left and president obama came in, the economy was about -- it actually crashed. i don't blame this on a republican or a democratic administration, especially when you go back 84 years and only 12
in 'burbs tenure in iraq we spent and spent and spent. and i think at that time the thought was we will get oil in return. i don't know there was some concept we would get reparations for that that i don't believe we ever did. absolutely wars cost money and i think that one hurt us. >> that started. and then president obama takes office in '08 and the deficit is exploded. >> the economy -- i think goes to nothing. i think it's worse than we think when the feds started throwing the amount of money threw just to keep everything propped up worldwide, i think we had a worldwide meltdown on -- >> that was a trillion. >> almost a trillion dollars. >> that we put -- >> a trillion. >> so i think it went so far south that we don't know. and that was part of my own wake-up call. we can't keep doing that. this will dip one day and we don't come out of it. president obama, right or wrong you have to decide, threw a
to keep the economy going instead of curtailing us back and shrunking the economy. >> can you explain why the stock market has done well? >> we are on a recovery. as i travel around the country a lot of people say their cities are doing better if you put your money in savings you get 1% return. where is it going to go? either in real estate but they are holding that down so it has to go somewhere and going into stocks and up go the stock market. >> you are worried we have a bubble. probably not the right time to invest in the stock market, probably a correction coming because we have been on a bull for so long. >> on friday the dow was down over 300 points on friday on the fear that the feds going to raise interest rates which have been. >> forever low. >> historic low. >> historic. never been that way. so it's probably time for the stock market to cool off a little bit. with the fed raising rates, that means the government is going to have to raise the money -- little -- pay a little more in
too. the fed gets too excited and doubles interest rates. we have a problem with our own debt. >> do we have -- i asked you if we have a spending problem or a taxing problem in this country. what is it? >> you know, again, you asking me questions probably an economy can answer but i think we have a spending problem for sure. we have 4 million government employees. federal government employees, 4 million. i think somewhere in there and we all probably agree there are some efficiency in our proves it. any big bureaucratic operation doesn't work particularly well. just doesn't. >> there is fat in there we can peel away and we should. we need to get more efficient this much is ridiculous what we are doing. we are spending and acting like this will last forever. you look at the empires that have come before us. rotman empires the biggest and most amazing thing that happened. the british empire ended. all of these empires that were the biggest and best and ended. we do not necessarily have to
$20 trillion. you think about what we could do with that money for the good if we weren't -- >> i don't know where it went. that's so much money. i don't know how -- >> maybe that's by design. they don't want -- it's incackable so we just -- you can't even ponder it. >> i think is it by design. >> final thoughts. when you go out and talk to people and i want to put up a picture of donald trump because he is the one guy who has really kind of come into this scene and completely over. we've got to get rid of these career politicians. is this message resonating out there? >> the message, that message is, but. >> is he the right agent? >> i'm not sure a lot of people that i have talked to, i'm non-partisan, i talked to they like certain things about mr. trump and then there are other things that concern them. >> in his plan, for the economy, economists looked at it and said it would explode the deficit
so low now is the time to borrow more. so it doesn't fit with what i'm looking for. >> let me ask you about that. there are people on economists who say you can sustain a certain amount of debt. it's okay, it's healthy, fine. >> sure. >> there is. but we are at 105 of gdp we are passed that if we are at who or 50 or 60. i might agree with that. >> s that still seems high. >> at some point you can't just keep spending and spending. so 105 gdp is most economists agree too high. >> the day of reckoning is happening when? do you think we will hit a point where we really literally wake up we have to fix this thing? >> i think when that happens it's too late. when it turns down -- like it did in 2000. , when it turned down it was too late. >> good to see you. good luck. the book press -- how to press america's reset button. thanks. thank you. good to see you. we will see you next week on
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