The National Debt: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Publisert 4. april. 2021
The national debt has long been portrayed as a burden we’re placing on future generations. John Oliver discusses how national debt works, why people are so concerned about it, and why it might be more helpful that you think.
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Kommentarer

  • Democrats and Republicans are equally irresponsible when it comes to the deficit.

  • América se fodeu

  • I walked past that debt clock every day on my way to work on Madison and 42nd.

  • Hold up. Accorsing to repubs - When the debt goes up because of spending on infrastructure = bad. But when the debt payments goes down because of tax cuts to big corp = good? On one side, Borrowing for litetal jobs creation = bad. While, Paying more interest for no jobs and no taxes revenue = good. Gotcha repubs.

  • What a joke. We know exactly why rates keep dropping. We've been in a deflationary cycle since the 80's and central banks (the FED) have continued to drop overnight funding rates and suppress long term rate by buying massive amounts of treasuries. This process can't continue forever, although there is some debate about that considering Europe's rates have gone negative. Since 2008 the FED funds rate has spent the majority of that time pegged near zero. If this deflationary cycle comes to an end and we start to see inflation the FED will be required to raise rates, THEN the debt will become a major problem.

  • So basically every single person in the country is $70,000 in debt.

  • I sure do like this show.

  • Price of goods has gone up double digits yet the Fed says no inflation.

  • Biden is beholden to China. BLM is a violent marxist terrorist group. ANTIFA is a violent anarchist terrorist group. Sovereignty is being lost with open borders. Federal dollars are pervasive to unemployment. Media and politicians are spreading race hate so we fight each other. Then they claim to be saving us.

  • It’s almost like. . .and stay with me here. . .all the republicans care about is gaining political advantage and nothing else

  • If you take any this shit seriously... You will remain poor.

  • I give an explanation, supply and demand. There is more supply of money that can be borrowed than the money borrowed, so the interest lowers. The money borrowed is a big number, but the money can be borrowed is infinity, at least those form FED is unlimited. With a few strokes of typing on computer, you can have the money to borrow.

  • Very good points. But at some point not taking on more debt needs to happen. But that is no where in sight. Bad times take on more debt, good times take on more debt. And the investments are. It existent. The reason companies buy back stock is because investing in their business capital brings no return because there is no avenue for growth. It is all financial engineering

  • But most will gladly accept the checks.

  • There's so much wrong with this video. Yes, Republicans haven't been any better than Democrats on this issue. But that doesn't mean they're both right, they're both wrong. If you liked this video and have never studied Economics, please read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. If you disagree with some things after that, that's a longer discussion. But you'll make much better arguments.

  • I'm sorry... but the way the show presents the concept of debt is bordering a dangerous explaination and makes it confusing for people that have little, to none, knowledge of financial or economical concepts. The first thing everyone needs to understand is, the structure and functioning of debt when it comes to the government, works totally differently than how it works for everyone else. You, me, business, local governments, etc. There is no way the Federal Government runs an unbalanced budget EVER; why? simple, they only have to print the money they need and that's it. Now, to give the idea to people that debt is not such a dangerous issue, combined with the fact that how it is presented in the show, combine with what I mentioned before about most people's lack of understanding (that it doesn't work the same for everyone) is irresponsible. Because it encourages this fantasy that there is always time or a way to get off from it even for you as a private citizen, which is what in fact, the essential cause of debt or credit crisis every time that it happens. Also, it is presented Greece as an example that there were no riots in the US despite the current situation and that somehow there is no indicator on why. Ignoring completely the real reasons. Which one? Well, the fact that Greece cannot print their own money as we do. They have to borrow it from the European Central Bank, which holds any funds until the country does whatever they think is proper. And that's what caused the protests. In the USA we don't depend on a central bank to which we have to ask for money and close our fingers until they give us the money. The central bank is basically the government and Congress, which only need to decide they need to print the money and that's it. Also, they only trash politicians from the Republican side without eve mentioning that the Democrats supported the debt and credit expansion from the very beginning of the 2000s, which was the main cause of the crash of '08. ON top of that, the show mentions Reagan as a negative figure from the 80s that tripled the national debt for no reason or because of ignorance. When it fact, the reason why it had to be done, is because the Cold War was in motion, and pushing the financial debt of the country was the best we could do in order to contribute to the collapse of the USSR from the military and economical stand point. There are far many things in the program that are no explained, either because it is not in the interest of the show to mention them or because of general ignorance, but the information, causes, data, etc, are really out there and accessible for everyone to check. If you are really serious about the debt issue, and like me, do not care if the Dems or the Reps will solve the issue, but to really have a solution in place, then please start reading or checking videos where Milton Fredman explains concepts like inflation, debt, etc. It will help you to watch these shows from the right optic and without falling for the fallacy of leaning with or against one politician or party.

  • The whole problem of trickle-down economics, rich people don't spend the money they get, if they did, they wouldn't get richer and richer and fucking richer. Study after study has shown that giving money to poorer people results in them spending the money, thereby boosting the economy, whereas tax cuts for the rich or subsidizing big companies with massive amounts of money leads only to more money in rich people's bank accounts.

  • In teory the gouverment must debt somewhere , so who gives that borrow ?? , cause you can't pay yourself an own debt if you don't take from somewhere money , if you produce money to borrow yourself that's inflation . If no one gets payed back why would he borrow the state ? That's a true lie of hiding the real problem of U.S.A . Where the goverment takes money as borrow from ? Who own the U.S.A debt ?

  • All countries had this decrease, it's not related to american debt.

  • Republicans: "We need to balance the budget and reduce our national debt!" Also Republicans: "Let's sign a $686.1 billion dollar defense budget bill, more than the next 10 countries combined."

  • I totally remember that commercial with the baby being told it owes $50k LOL

  • Debt sucks. Just a little more than John Oliver's dumb opinions.

  • That last line "Grow the f**k up!" I so LOVE it, LOL!! CHEERS!

  • Gosh American politics has so mucb hatred. Why can't they both want to help everyone at a basic level...

  • "Start something he doesn't finish" 🤣

  • John Oliver, the interest rate on our debt kept decreasing because the Federal Reserve is buying majority of debt issued by the Treasury. Where does the Fed gets its money to buy all this debt? Simple, they print out money out of thin air. If the Fed stopped buying US debt, then the interest on our debt would increase.

  • If you don't think debt is modern day slavery you are an idiot! Our current debt system is literally designed to maintain us slaves to our masters (employers). An indebted employee doesn't have options, and must obey.

  • The republicans are masters of spin and they killed and buried the word and meaning of hypocricy a long time ago.

  • This was nothing but the most insidiious, wiicked propagandda imaginable ... and the low-informatiion public will eat it up :(

  • god forbid you use it to improve education, if those kids could count...

    • @A OConnor Lol what a dullard. You can't spell things correctly here. There is no freee-speechh on this site. You have to spell things incorrectly ON PURPOSE to avoid the algorythmns auto-deleting your comments lol :P Where have you been? Under a rockk lol? :)

    • @Ralph Wiggam not going to even begin to listen to someone with as atrocious spelling as you.

    • @Max the % of GDP spent doesn't matter. Japan spends 3,2 % of its gdp on education, yet its ranked 15th (above the US). Swaziland spends 7,1 % of GDP on education and its ranked below the us.

    • @Ralph Wiggam completely untrue US spends the most because it’s the biggest economy with the most students however it only spends 5% of it’s GDP on education which is 66th out of all countries

    • @Dewaldt completely untrue US spends the most because it’s the biggest economy with the most students however it only spends 5% of it’s GDP on education which is 66th out of all countries

  • MILLIONS of dollars to FOREIGN "ghender programs" very much IS "throwing away money" you LYYING FRAWD!!!

  • Republicans complaining about the debt will never not be cringeworthy. Motherf*ckers, most of this is on you!

    • @MasterPoppers Lies. Big corporations wanted jo in because they knew he would disproportionately help them more than the eviil orhange mhan ... wake up.

    • @Ralph Wiggam This has zero to do with what I said.

    • Jo got FIVE TIMES more donatiions from Wall Street and big business than the eviil orange mhan ... why do you think that is lol? :)

  • At this point, propaganda like this is making me so much money that my greed makes me want to agree with the this foolishness. But I do feel so bad for those younger than me, as this will crash and they won't have gotten to ride the wave up.

  • Endless wars=more debt

    • That and entitlement spending.

    • "America is back" ...

  • increase taxes = rich people leaving the country. If that is true, please show them the door. If they want to participate in the world's biggest economy they should pay house fees. If they don't want to pay house fees then they should not participate.

    • You do if the rich leave, the us stops being the biggest economy.

    • Liies. Big corporatiions and the riich will NEVER pay more taxes. The Middle Class will have to bare the brunt of the tax burden ... this is ALL by design :(

  • According to the urn, John Oliver died on the 20th of March, 2021. This episode lauched on the 5th of April. We've had one a week since then. Yeah, they might have put some in the can, but it's a current events show. So who is the guy now pretending to be John Oliver?????

  • I wasnt really sure how much 28 trillion dollars was until he said a fuck ton of money. Oh shit murica is fucked

  • I would care a lot more about (R) opinions if they didn’t ONLY care about the National Debt when there’s a (D) in the White House

  • They can just take some more money from poor countries and pay it off

  • Non-economist here, but gonna take a stab at that rising debt vs lower interest correlation. Two Big reasons: 1. As mentioned, lack of capital intensive alternatives. 2. Investor confidence, in the ability of a country to repay their debt, uses the US as a benchmark. This means the US borrowing rate will always be cheaper than Greece. The feedback loop of a rising interest rate and what that can do to the household-debt-to-income(HD2I) had a "stress test" in 2008 which didn't end well. The fallout of that has been an ultra-low interest environment until the HD2I is better balanced. Funny thing is... People are smart and know that it's okay to borrow against their home when interest rates are this low. So until 1 of these 2 things breaks (capital intensive excursions like a space-race in mining asteroids/colonizing Mars, or the greenback is no longer a benchmark).... then this is the new normal. Low interest debts are okay, and if your return on investment can outpace your debt servicing costs....then accumulating that debt is encouraged.

  • You keep you videos blocked in other country and we'll keep not watching them. By the time Canada can watch them, the news is outdated.

  • You should see the Canadian budget. If it were even possible it is even more reckless.

  • Scary number lol

  • The last part is my favorite thing on NOlong

  • I love you John Oliver. Your videos are so important. This one won't age well. It felt like you took a math problem and made it a partisan issue.

  • Why are treasuries viewed as the safest investment despite the debt being such a problem? Doesn’t add up.

    • This whole point of this video was about how debt isn't such a big problem. So by it's logic it does add up...

  • actually taking money to build a factory is cringe and disgusting capitalism that forces slaves to do all the work. working period is just stupid and cringe. all work is slavery. we must abolish work, only then will socialism truly rise.

  • The main problem with the national debt is not the size of it but the fact that it's such a poor return on capital. It's not a matter of "building a factory" that produces goods or services....that's probably a good use of capital, however 90% of the money spent is not spent like that.

  • What people don’t understand is that that will go up

  • Jesus fuck America, there are people in your country competing for "The wealthiest men alive" and "grossly overpaid CEOs". That's where the money has all gone, take it from them.

  • It’s funny how now that it’s Democrat’s wanting to spend money that it’s being presented as a good thing, and yet Trump was excoriated on this program for the exact same thing

  • Social programs increasing the debt is not a sign of them working, it’s a sign we can’t pay for them. It’s simply politicians with an unlimited credit card giving out stuff in exchange for votes now with no regard for the future people who have to pay the bill. I’m not saying we don’t need Medicare, but the current payment plan is not working.

  • I'd like to sue the politicians that have taken years off my life with that fear mongering crap.

  • I wonder who feeds this guy his views

  • This video provides a somewhat accurate overall but is missing many valuable details that allow people to have a much more informed opinion. But hey, it's a comedy news show intended more to introduce topics than fully explain them. There are many excellent economics channels on NOlong that people should follow up with. Maybe start with the channel Economics Explained as an entertaining intro. One thing I do wish he had highlighted a bit better is that with interest rates at such historic lows, if they went up by only a couple of percentage points it would have a massive impact on the nations ability to service the debt. Probably beyond the scope of the video, but it's also important to note that the US is definitely far less impacted by debt than other countries due to the US dollar's status as the world's reserve currency and the fact that US citizens/companies own a large percentage of the world's assets. A country like Greece, which doesn't even control it's own currency (the Euro) is in a completely different situation regardless of relative debt levels. Also, it is kind of incorrect to say that economists don't know why interest rates have trended lower (and have been for hundreds of years BTW). It's more that there is no consensus on which factors had the greatest impact and even more that they don't know where things will end up. Rates have been at around 0% for a while now and a small number of countries have had negative interest rates for years.

  • So nobody knows why intrest rates are so low? Really? Excuse me but don't Central Banks have things such as Intrest Rate Goals and Quanative Easing? It's almost like Central banks are buing government bonds from private investors to make government bonds a risk-free investment.

  • boy he's going to look real stupid when people in 2023 look back at this video. More so than usual.

  • This dude is so liberal, he's become self aware of his ridiculous takes.

  • Sadly the majority of this video is jokes and not knowledge. The debt is one thing, inflation is another. There were riots in Greece because once they couldn't get any foreign investment and they instead had to tax the hell out of their own citizens in order to get money. Stop listening to actors. They literally get payed to say things that other people write, the fact that you sheep buy into people like this is crazy.

  • 14:40 dog just looks happy to be there

  • No Republicans can seriously talk about debt deficit after the tax cut

  • Who is the world in debt too?

  • Way to pick the one economist that doesn't know why interest rates are so low. When the economy picks back up, that interest rate will skyrocket, the deficit will go with it, and we won't have pandemic induced deflation to print money against.

  • How does LWT find such incredible child actors??

  • The fucking hypocrisy of the republicans using the idea that we are destroying our children's future by not eliminating the national debt while they completely ignore climate change which is ACTUALLY DOING THAT. Fucking monsters.

  • ok so borrowing money is fine... I understand that, but when you "print" 30% of all US Fiat that has ever been made in 1 year than you might have a problem...

  • What we need to keep in mind is that money ISN'T REAL. I know, its probably came out as a very radical idea, but we invented money. It's a pretty good tool, but if I have to choose between people life and the monetary system, I say that the choice is easy. The real problem is that fuckers who have money right now will NEVER accept that we reset the clock. Even if we face inevitable destruction, they think that the reconnaissance of their "really hard work" worth more than the welfare of their fellow human.

    • Easy for you to say when it isn't your money. But if I could borrow a few hundred bucks, I promise I'll pay you back.

  • I’ve got a probably stupid question. If China is one of the largest buyers of debt in the world, could all of the countries that borrowed money/is indebted to China just all agree that they don’t have to pay them back?

  • debt to build the country is good. debt to give tax cuts to the rich is not good. fk the cons

  • If I ever come close to hating someone, just know that Ted Cruz is at the top of my list.

  • Lets save money and reduce the military budget. Oh no republicans want to do that? How strange.

  • Wow just wow - this is such a shit video - John your not only wrong your dangerous and spouting MMT. Do yourselfs a favor and ignore this video and watch Ray Dalio explanation of how the monetary system works. Tax cuts for the rich have nothing to do with taking on tons of debt - and the debt we have taken on has supported the fortune 500 and 1% not the tax payers. I can't believe this was allowed to air. Stop asking economist and start asking historians: they'll tell you exactly what happens when societies take on to much debt and collapse.

    • @Spitfire I never said don't raise taxes. Yes do it, but it only works to a point - fiscal responsibility is the corner stone of sound economics and cost benefit analysis is what grounds it. I agree in investing in national childcare programs that save long term prison and judicial cost, invest in hospitals, invest in NASA where you get return on patents, paid sick leave, paid maternity, and universal healthcare. But that's not what this video is about. This video is peak delusion of MMT on steroids. Raising taxes and investing in social safety nets that lower long term cost is prudent economics and reduces the debt which key. Again where does he say that I'm this video? And further: debts are both assets and liabilities and when they become liabilities that can't be paid were all fucked! If you have a ton of money you owe and pay low interest on it and the rate goes up and now that debt is worth alot more in interest and way more than tax roll them your fucked. I would have thought your country would be familiar with this concept having dealt with a subprime mortgage crises. Oh wait wait I forgot the billionaires were bailed out and nothing was allowed to collapse - and this guy is arguing more should have been spent what a yuts! Lastly: and I'm going to bold this AN ECONOMY THAT CLAIMS TO HAVE A BULL MARKET DOES NEED QE AND LOW INTEREST RATES. John Oliver saying the economist were wrong is blatant lie - they know full well what's going on.

    • Another way to think of this, since you seem to need help, is home equity. When you purchase a good, inflation drives it's value up. So this actually gives incentive to spending as much as you can at any given moment on permanent assets. Infrastructure and investment into your population is such an investment.

    • Eh, you really think that's the case? Okay, think of this, lets say that the workers are the ones that continue to hold the burden for tax, and corporations evade it and financial services drive inflation through interest on that same working class. Their growth is slower, so the money doesn't go as far. This increases the value of physical assets (which those large corporations are investing in, and dumping money into imaginary systems to also drive growth through the volume of funds dumped into a system instead of merit) and decreasing the purchasing power of it's citizens. Next, read your ending statement again. You outright stated that the top 1% benefits from the debt more than the rest, which could be recouped by... fucking taxes. Fucking wow man, not sure how you think you understand anything.

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  • "...your great-grandchildren" shows a graveyard lmfao

  • Propaganda for MMT. Wow. Just...wow.

  • I love John Oliver, but he just muddies the waters here. And with this video approaching 17k comments, I won't try to refute any of the info presented in it in any great detail. I'll also assume no one will read this, I'll just type: any government that is the sole issuer of its currency, with the value of that currency NOT tied to some commodity or another country's currency, cannot involuntarily go broke (it can choose to default on paying its bond obligations if idiots like Ted Cruz have their way). Check out Japan. Last I looked, its debt to GDP ratio was well over 200%. Yet interest rates are at 0% and inflation is practically non-existent. Why? I'm begging you - read "The Deficit Myth" by Stephanie Kelton. She does a terrific job of explaining what is called Modern Monetary Theory (which is a theory in the same way the theories of gravity and evolution are "theories"). If you read it, I promise you, you'll be glad, because you'll be able to stop worrying about our national "debt."

  • The only problem is: the government doesn't invest. It spends. Maybe 10% of the infrastructure bill will go to actual infrastructure. And infrastructure only boost the economy in the long run if it improves productivity. Actually, it weakens the economy in the short term since you have to invest now for something that will pay dividends years and years down the road. The debt is not crushing us only because the Fed (which effectively is beholden of the government) is keeping interest rates at zero which is causing huge amounts of inflation. US bonds are safe?! Right, this is MSM... they don't know... MSM has not the slightest bit of understanding about economics. ohhh and 28 trillion? That's only the budget debt. Including medicare and social security it's actually about 200 trillion dollars. So basically... if you are below your 50s, assume your social security is gone and that you will never receive it. That will protect you from being blindsided and unprepared when it becomes apparent to the general population.

  • BUT THE TAX CUT WAS OKAY RIGHT ?

  • Canada anyone?

  • How can you not know what causes the interest rate to be what it is. It either calculated by a formula or set by a person. It's not a natural phenomenon being measured like wind speed or temperature and it just is what it says on the gage. It's a made up thing which means there is a person responsible for it which means there is a knowable reason.

  • So...I'm into historical dressing. And I'm just graduating this year (fingers crossed) to be an archaeologist, someone who digs big holes in the ground... I'm just there to take the bodies and old refuse that I've legally been approved for! I swear!

  • Hahaha the ending is excellent!

  • 16:58 Interest rates keep falling, because central banks do not have to raise them due to inflation. Central banks do not have to raise rates due to inflaton due to how we define inflation. The cost of gasoline, milk or bread did not go up all that much, because the money injected into the worlds economy went into raising stock prices and made rich people richer. A person with 100 million dollars is not going to spend more on bread at local supermarket than a person with $1,000 in their bank account. Hence the prices for the basket of products that define inflation did not increase. What did happen is the interest rates paid by government bonds and banks went down, costing the pension funds allot of money. In this environment the rich risk takers (stock owners) benefit; everyone else looses.

  • I can't get over how tight John's collar is. That does not look comfortable.

  • A fix for that shitty poem Borrow borrow borrow Enjoy today For you won't tomorrow It's not great, but at least it makes a little sense

  • I get the analogy of borrowing at 2% interest to make 5% returns. The problem comes when you spend that 5% return on a PlayStation 5 and put none of it back on the debt.

  • America is too busy having riots about racial injustices, to riot about financial crises.

  • I knew economy was a joke,

  • My concern is not with the "national debt" which was never designed to be repaid at all, but the ever-growing trade imbalance. Container ships arrive full and leave empty. There's a bill coming due for sure. But why no mention of MMT or Monetary Sovereignty?

  • The National Debt has always been the Republican's battle cry. Unfortunately, it ballooned under the Republican presidents. Plus the needed social programs ended up getting cut. Interesting bro note, the recent two recessions, started around 89-90 (the Great Recession), and 2006-7 caused by Reagan/George senior, and George junior, respectively.

  • The only problem with the debt is that it is a channel through which money flows into the hands of the wealthy; thus increasing the wealth gap and wealth inequality. It should never have been started in the first place, the rich should pay their fair share in taxes and that would cover the deficit. Also, the government should use surpluses to create a sovereign wealth fund, therefore becoming like a rich person and earning dividends; this also gives the government a set of assets to borrow against in the event of a sudden catastrophe that requires immediate spending.

  • I heard somewhere that Ted Cruz pees his pants because he likes the warm feeling of it running down his leg

  • EDIT (18:20) to lower comment

  • John, the govt. does not create money...(22:15) what an idiot... the Fed prints it from NOTHING

    • ... you should read your statement again. Then look up the word create... and the word print.

  • the interest rates were kept low because the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. kept them low...duh!!!

  • For comparison purposes the U.S. debt per capita is about $84,500 while Canada's national debt of $2.4 trillion works out to about $64,500 per capita but when factoring in the difference in our dollars that is only $51,000 USD so the average American is in debt 1.65 times more than the average Canadian.

  • Funny, how he left out that the government decides what the interest rates are through the Fed's. Poorly made libtard propaganda video.

    • You didn't any part of that right. Cite it. I'll wait.

  • There's John Oliver shitting all over America again. I wonder if he'll last longer than Piers did on CNN.

    • Well he's an American now, unlike Piers.

  • I'm disappointed it was never explicitly mentioned how the Federal Government finances itself in significant part by the Federal Reserve buying up its debt. This is something which people don't realize but they really should.

  • How the hell am I supposed to know what's going on. Which politician is to be trusted, and which one is only out for themselves and their party. How am I to know what I read is to be trusted, or not. It is worrisome