Mitt Romney on getting Americans to focus on the difficult, sometimes abstract issues of the deficit and accumulating national debt:
“I think it helps to translate the federal-debt and unfunded-liability numbers into personal numbers. The total amount of accumulated debt and unfunded liabilities is approximately $520,000 per American household. What that means is that each household will be paying the interest on the debt and paying the principal on the unfunded liabilities over the coming decade or two. It means that our kids will get saddled with that $520,000 — which of course will become a good deal larger over the next four or five years if the president is reelected.
“That number says that as interest rates go up, as they undoubtedly will down the road, people will get burdened with a tax figure that makes it harder for them to start their lives out, get homes, and build a future for themselves. It really kills the American Dream to be burdened with that kind of a figure from the beginning of your life. And so I think that’s the most effective way I can talk about the personal impact, long term, of this debt and unfunded-liability burden.
“There is also a recognition in this country that what Greece and Italy and Spain are facing could conceivably be brought home to us. The recognition that you reach a point where the world decides that your obligations are perhaps not going to be met, or that they will be inflated away — in which case people will ask for higher interest rates, and you’ll find yourself in a doom loop.”