Appraising America

February/03/2009 3:50AM
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We are all worried about the deficit. Trillions are now common. This year alone may be $2.5 trillion. It’s scary.

If America were a business, what assets would we have on the balance sheet, and how much are they worth if we appraised them?

Let’s start with natural resources on government land. Offshore oil potential might be as much as $3 trillion. We don’t really know since we haven’t tried to tap them. On shore oil and gas, probably another trillion or so. It’s mostly in Alaska. Coal, probably another 4-5 trillion. Since we are the Saudi Arabia of coal, it’s big.

The White House was appraised this year at $320 million. Government buildings are probably worth up to $5 trillion. Government land, that’s the big one. Maybe $10 trillion. Amtrak, maybe we could get $500 million if we sold it. The Post Office, I’m sure Big Brown would give us a couple of billion if Fed EX didn’t bid higher. 

Nuclear bombs, military assets, military land, space equipment, and other weapons of war, probably worth a lot to certain countries. Set aside the nukes, and it’s gotta be $10 trillion. We’ve spent a tenth of that much every year for as long as I’ve lived.

Rough numbers, if we had to divest assets to stay in business as the United States of America, we’re still pretty solvent. But, we do have lot’s of liabilities. Like debt from China and India and Saudi Arabia. We would have to pay the debt from the asset sales. We can stiff you on social security and medicare and medicade, but we aren’t going to get away with not paying the foreign nations.

We are dancing on the edge. If the government, believing they own the national assets, not the people, keep spending and not selling we will need to mortgage these assets soon. Those we haven’t mortgaged with loans to foreign countries.  If we can’t pay, China, India, and Saudi Arabia  they may start attaching our assets. 

It would be a shame to send Saudi Arabia oil money they loan back to us and then have them come here and drill offshore and in Alaska in exchange for unpaid debt. 

We have a big country, but we, the people, own a fair share of the assets. The government can only put what they own on the balance sheet. I’m sure I’ve under appraised the assets the government owns. But when they start spending trillions more than they take in every year, they soon learn the lessons the banks are learning. When assets exceed liablilities you either go chapter 11 or go to the government and trash our balance sheet.

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