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

    _bang faces in Hawaii_

  • Thomas Palazzolo
    Thomas Palazzolo

    This isn't an insult but it's going to sound like an insult: Sarah Palin is what Peggy Hill would hallucinate while dying of a brain-rot.

  • isoldaDoesStuff


  • isoldaDoesStuff

    Liberalism is great, let Netflix and another multimillionaire companies not pay taxes.

  • Ricardo

    Lol it's not slavery? Right, it's modern slavery. Read about what China is doing in Venezuela and Africa. Oliver is nice, but it's like Q-Anon all the shit gone to just ONE side of the political compass.

  • Cornholio

    i swear this is the most retarded video i have ever seen

  • John P
    John P

    Hey John! You like doing deep dives. Audit the Fed! You'll be shocked where all the money is going. I dare you John, Audit the Fed!

  • John Orosz
    John Orosz

    The ILLUSION of an economy in Crooked Amerika! How can you create millionaires in an army of the rich? Not difficult. You take one BILLIONAIRE who hires politicians and makes them rich, they support Wall Street and things like Dick Cheney's 9/11. Can you imagine being born a millionaire OVER AND OVER AND OVER!

  • womacks8675309

    I wish that end commercial could exist as its own thing. That was awesome.

  • Thomas Paulson
    Thomas Paulson

    Stfu dude...this guy needs to just stop

  • Oisin Dowling
    Oisin Dowling

    There's no nominal tipping point, it will come whenever the powers that be decide that lending to the US no longer becomes a safe bet. Get some good investments in now America, you'll need it when (If?) the shit hits the fan

  • IFCGaming

    So larger and larger dependance on banks is not an issue at all?

  • R Smith
    R Smith

    "expert economists don't know either " is not comforting .

  • Daniel Mirkin
    Daniel Mirkin

    Of all the businessmen to chose from, you pick the guy bringing us to a sustainable environmental future? Elon has my vote!

  • Laura Marschmallow
    Laura Marschmallow

    All the time I hear people say "a government should be run like a company" I think: then the government should increase their income by raising taxes. But for some reason raising taxes leads to communism.


    YOU'RE MY HERO! 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

  • Izoto

    Republicans are so pathetic.

  • Xenos N.
    Xenos N.

    Money is made up. Debt doesn't matter.

  • devilmix85

    OK BOOMER!! 🤣

  • Adonis Villamor
    Adonis Villamor

    Oh come on do not pretend to be victims. The national debt have no value for America. It impacts all other countries that use the U.S. dollar like China who is stupid enough to store a lot of it and invest in U.S. debts. Other countries has to produce resources, products and conduct services to earn their dollars. America who bought these products, technologies and services and owes these dumb countries money just turns on the printer and all debts are paid with pieces of IOU notes called the U.S. dollar. If you claim years of hard work and priceless materials are worth a piece of paper just printed and stamped by a money manipulator is fair then go to hell. Stop whining like victims!

  • Brandi Baldwin
    Brandi Baldwin

    It didn’t happen because the world is on the dollar standard. We keep printing more dollars. Give Peter Schiff a call. Hyperinflation is in the rear view mirror stating “objects closer than they appear”. You can’t print your way out of debt. We’re fucked!

  • Philipp Wegner
    Philipp Wegner

    This show just keeps getting better and better. Thanks guys, much obliged :)

  • Stefan Langenhoven
    Stefan Langenhoven

    3 pages of your notes app 😂

  • SquillyMon

    Before I paid attention and actually took time to listen to the arguments put forth by both sides and the manner in which they delivered them, I found this show entertaining. Now, today, it is impossible for me not to see the heavy bias that is extant here, it is literally impossible not to see it. People need to pay attention, wise up if you're able and not only listen to what is being said, but also the manner in which it is delivered and the rules followed or not followed during what seems a logical or fair debate, it will reveal far more than the words, concepts and bamboozlement being used in the back n forth...I promise.

  • Evil666D

    John Stossel? Isn't he the idiot that got bitchslapped half to death once by Dr D David Schultz when he said wrestling was all fake? xD

  • David FunkDavidF
    David FunkDavidF

    Let’s go to the real issues: *pulls out Nicolas Cage pillow and wolf plate* WHERE DA PARTY AT FAM

  • David FunkDavidF
    David FunkDavidF

    “Of course, people won’t riot based on whether you click like on my post...or will they?” *riot footage plays*

  • Minh Nguyen
    Minh Nguyen

    The elegant sock fifthly stare because stinger neuropathologically promise since a wonderful duck. ill-fated, woebegone house

  • Rayner Sutardja
    Rayner Sutardja

    Okay, this isn’t racist, but... Republicans.

  • Ngo Ban Mai
    Ngo Ban Mai

    The hateful ash scilly present because authorization clinically telephone till a colossal vase. quixotic, woebegone time

  • sixpackbootsie

    Our country the Philippines has borrowed a lot of money due to the pandemic, but we don't know where they are spending it because they've disclosed any activities to the public, we don't feel or see the impact on our debt which is concerning.

  • Glenn Janot
    Glenn Janot

    You could say that debt becomes too much when the interest payments on it prevent any type of discretionary spending

  • Krishna Bharadwaj
    Krishna Bharadwaj

    LOL John, you should be taxed 100%. Then you will knoww what is slaverry.

  • willariza

    You could be leaning left or right but, at the end, you'll perish under the force of the big simulator. Keynesianism 28 trillion dollar in debt and the minions are lobbying for even more fake money

  • niduoe stre
    niduoe stre

    OMG, you always lift my mood. Thanks. And your Ted Cruz poem..........perfection.

  • Idris PendisBey
    Idris PendisBey

    this channel became Democrat propaganda, not objective as its earlier years

  • Marlene Wulf
    Marlene Wulf

    “This lovable little human rights violation” I’m in TEARS

  • Aksel Hansen
    Aksel Hansen

    Thank you for the very insightfull Show!

  • Alamea Banks
    Alamea Banks

    babes, economists are not scientists, they make up theories out of nothing

    • niduoe stre
      niduoe stre

      It’s painfully obvious, this comedian isn’t qualified to speak on economics

  • Mon M
    Mon M

    This is how you know money is fake

  • ragingbull alf
    ragingbull alf

    How many times did fux (or any right-wing pundit), mention the "debt clock" during fatso's fiasco?

  • Luke Fasullo
    Luke Fasullo

    The awesome caterpillar appropriately learn because geometry hemodynamically vanish amid a mixed sidewalk. acid, coordinated texture

  • Monsieur GLU
    Monsieur GLU

    Japan isn't agree with tipping point : Public debt stood at ¥1.12 quadrillion - 198% of GDP

  • Joelseph Wagner
    Joelseph Wagner

    Someone described John as a bird and another as their weekly depression dosage. His true identity is Tim Burton's toucan Sam, telling you to follow your nose to lines of depression and misery.

  • Hawkeye Pierce
    Hawkeye Pierce

    MMT - The Modern Monetary Theory

  • Alice Vångström
    Alice Vångström

    Jaaaa, I don't think mentioning slavery in itself is racist, but as soon as she prefaces with "this isn't racist" it starts to sound pretty racist to me at least...

  • Lasse

    Are they off this week? :D

  • lenny sothern
    lenny sothern

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  • MD. SOJIB Ahmed
    MD. SOJIB Ahmed

    I hope it's that simple😄


    Historically speaking it is almost always the case that US government debt increases when Republicans are in power, and the US government debt shrinks when Democrats are in power. However it seems the ones constantly complaining about the growing debt are always Republican politicians. To me this is a very curious phenomenon.

  • Buddy B
    Buddy B

    This guy is terrible.

  • Arnold Kim
    Arnold Kim

    The national debt number was put for one purpose, to make people fear. We live in $21 trillion dollar economy, That has doubled in 20 years (year 2000 GDP was $10 trillion). And it is position to double in 10 years, That's $20 trillion. That's more than enough to cover the national debt. In fact, even if the feds gave out $100,000 for every single person in the country, it would not cause a hyper inflation. The establishment want to scare you with these big number but when the time comes (it seem every 10 years) for another Wall street bailout of trillions of dollars, they wont even blink. When they say they don't have the money, they mean they just don't have the money for you.

  • Redjetsen

    Mr Oliver what if they charged you for your show... reverse work...negative your show...that would be like the national debt.

  • Michelle Harrison
    Michelle Harrison

    It’s painfully obvious, this comedian isn’t qualified to speak on economics

  • Sufian Kazi
    Sufian Kazi

    🎩 ..... 🌹 ...... ☭ 🤑 🤝 ✊ ⬇️ ⬇️ ➡️ ...... 👑 ࿕ .....⬅️ 🤑 ✋ If Americans don't understand this then China won....

  • Caleb Correa
    Caleb Correa

    Excuse me but I am a Gen Z and here is what I am going to say to Republicans, The National debt is not going to effect young people at all, now our entire planet being messed up by climate change and hundreds of million losing their homes from climate problems will

  • Love Animals-01
    Love Animals-01

    There are millions of tax-paying, masters degree holding residents in USA who work for US firms who are stuck in a Green Card queue for OVER A DECADE. If the govt. just removed these useless backlogs and let educated people open up more businesses, our deficits would go down, by a lot. Common sense.

  • Marston Gould
    Marston Gould

    The national debt is a stupid measure. Does anyone look at a balance sheet of a company and go, wow, this company must be terrible, it has debt? Amazon has 227 Billion in liabilities. So what? That isn't how you measure the value of something - you look the NET value. So to that 227B, Amazon has $331B in Assets. Well guess what, the national wealth of the entire US is approaching $300 Trillion. Yeah, that's right. $300 Trillion. Here's few other things to think about, the largest holder of US debt is.....Americans who depend on its steady, predictable payments. Yes, other nations like China, Japan and the UK also own substantial portions of the US debt - and this is a GOOD thing. If you were China and were owed $2T, how likely would you be to go blow it up? That would be like you going out and buying a brand new car, paying cash for it, sticking a rag in the gas tank and lighting a match. Kind of stupid eh? And while it is true that the national debt can have an inflationary effect, by far the greatest driver of inflation is none other than Adam Smith's supply and demand relationship. As we've increased inequality in this country, the demand by many Americans for new things (either by investing in a bank and expecting a return. or by consumptions - the largest driver of GDP) decreases. So if you really wanted to reduce the national debt, you'd need to have more tax payers paying more tax - by guess what - earning more money - by how? reducing inequality. Its pretty simply math.

  • Janssen W
    Janssen W

    John Oliver I very much enjoy your show. However, we do know why interest rates are at all-time lows. There are many studies that talk about this. Part of the reason is central bank monetary policy "race to the bottom" for governments lower their key short term government rates to make their currency cheaper thereby making their exports more competitive. Another is market segmentation theory - certain investor are mandate to only high-grade sovereign debt as part of their investment policy. Nominal interest rates, i.e. the rates you see on the Wall Street Journal, is just the sum of real interest rates and inflation expectations. When inflation expectations are negative (or deflative), then people believe that global growth rates are low. Finally, another reason i demographic. With the baby boomer generation retiring, labor force participation is near 50 year lows.When the economy is not at "full capacity", inflation expectation can be near zero or negative influencing nominal interest rates.

  • Mark Easley
    Mark Easley

    Every sentence said about GW Bush is incorrect. He cut taxes because that was part of the campaign. He didn't launch the war on terror, we got attacked! Like 9/11 has no significance? Please tell me the alternate plan that doesn't involve a pissed off America using our armed forces to mess someone's day up? Guess what... that costs money, so how about not kill 3,000 americans in a single day? That all aside, the Dems are the ones who tacked on massive spending to compromise for funding the the wars. They are still ALWAYS to blame for the deficit. This is revisionist history to describe the Bush era that way in a piffy, inaccurate sentence as if that was not a tumultuous two terms.

  • Shrugs Alltheshrugs
    Shrugs Alltheshrugs

    It's wild how many problems would be solved if billionaires and corporations paid taxes.

  • Dealsx Steals
    Dealsx Steals

    The tangy jam previously sail because utensil italy announce unlike a disturbed bow. screeching, successful cooking

  • DuhIdiot

    To spend $28 trillion in 81 years, you'd need to spend $11K per second $657K per minute $39M per hour $946M per day So to spend it in one lifetime by buying new cars non-stop, you'd have to make them really high-end cars if you ever wanted breaks for things like eating or taking a dump, and even then you'd need to become a power-nap ninja.

  • Alethea B
    Alethea B

    Hearing the Senator from Louisiana’s voice makes me want to chew my fingers and toes off. And yes, I know his name....I just refuse to say it.

  • Robert Hagebau
    Robert Hagebau

    John wearing all black because of the death of Prinz Philip leaves me to wonder: - are these episodes recorded way closer to upload than I thought they were (and John Oliver is a true English gentleman even in his US exile) - is John Oliver actually a time traveller - did John Oliver assassinate Prinz Phillip and that's how he knows? Questions people; questions.

  • Carolina Culp
    Carolina Culp

    Another reason the US doesn’t worry so much about the debt , is when you buy US debt they only have to pay you back in US Dollars, which our government can print until doomsday, because theUS is not like European countries which are tied to the euro and cannot just print money 💰 like we can

    • S Panke
      S Panke

      Actually... only the Fed can print money... like the ECB in the Euro zone... but the point is both institutions will print money as long a the inflation isn't too high. So the US government is in the same position as EU countries.... more or less

  • Drew

    ...... Did John die and was cremated last week, and we're watching a clone do Last Week Tonight? ..... Is that what that death date on the urn was telling us?

  • Hellen Maryann
    Hellen Maryann

    The long term are doing well while the short term trade requires precision in its execution but gosh, they do amazing when you're on the right side

    • Love Animals-01
      Love Animals-01

      There are millions of tax-paying, masters degree holding residents in USA who work for US firms who are stuck in a Green Card queue for OVER A DECADE. If the govt. just removed these useless backlogs and let educated people open up more businesses, our deficits would go down, by a lot. Common sense.

    • Jefferson Jennifer
      Jefferson Jennifer

      I am now a creditor not debtor anymore

    • George Stella
      George Stella

      I used to take loan from the bank for survive before but after trading with Mrs Bambi she changed my financial for good

    • Phillip Michelle
      Phillip Michelle

      She helped me recover $30,99, I lost to scammer and earned me a profit of over $6000 in just 7days of my trade

    • Jefferson Paul
      Jefferson Paul

      As much thrilled to see her other investors. She is a very sincere woman who understand the challenge faced by beginner, I started bitcoin under her guidance after seeing her interview with CNBC. She doesn't request for any charges to teach investors on how to trade and generate profits for themselves

  • Tactical Fallout
    Tactical Fallout

    Remind me why the Federal reserve, Debt based currency, and fractional reserve banking isn't the problem here?

  • nakedcapitalist

    The national debt is so large that just paying the interest on the debt cost $344 billion in 2020 and that’s WITH interest rates being at record lows. And John Oliver has you fools applauding it. It’s amazing. You deserve what’s coming to you.

  • a person
    a person

    Is this video seriously pro-debt?

  • अर्जुन शर्मा
    अर्जुन शर्मा

    Debt is debt... don't put weight on future generation.

  • EzraMF

    So you’re blaming Obama’s lack of spending on Republicans? Stop being misleading. Obama actually bailed out the banks and let ordinary people lose their homes. Stop being a vote blue no matter who Queen.

  • Macroscopic Solutions, LLC
    Macroscopic Solutions, LLC

    Damn, a few years ago I appreciated your content. Now, you just ramble, cry and show no evidence to support your arguments anymore. “I don’t know.” As the years go by, your just another pessimist that has nothing positive to say about anything.

  • Robert Manke
    Robert Manke

    as usual, you're right J.O. PLEASE HAVE THE COURAGE TO SEE THIS VID FROM THE SCIENTISTS I must share this to you: I urge you to see this. You need to be ready. We are about to experience a species event Dr. Louis Pasteur invented the vaccine. He also invented the hypodermic needle to give it with. this thing here? this is not a vaccine like he made. His vaccine sensitized the white blood cell system to hunt and kill enemies. This thing here? this is the Jab. It GMOs every cell in your body and you better look at this video telling you what comes of that Disaster to you.

  • Leo Cieri
    Leo Cieri

    The materialistic donna beautifully knot because plow isely hope unto a quarrelsome married. oval, waggish sphere

  • ArchetypeApollo

    I remember when John Oliver was funny. Too much politics and not enough jokes. Also Bill Clinton, a democrat, balanced the budget, so it’s not a right or left issue to want to balance the budget. Just a political call to the fiscally responsible people. Whether the politician follows thru is an entirely different matter

  • Robert Mathews
    Robert Mathews

    This video put a smile on my face

  • Tom Krol
    Tom Krol

    Debt can absolutely be the downfall of a country. The argument of debt in exchange for value is not including the most important metric: TIME. Companies that start in debt and never become profitable, ALL go out of business. You are forgetting time in your equation. crisis. To even hint at the fact that we can just print more money is both irresponsible and reckless. Almost every country that has adopted that strategy has experienced catastrophic consequences. Republicans give the money to the rich and democrats give the money to the poor and the rich (both tend to ignore the middle class). But it doesn't matter who gets the money, not one of the groups of recipients provide enough value in exchange for the money to ever pay off this debt.

  • Fredrik O. Zachrisson
    Fredrik O. Zachrisson

    No worries man. Just keep spending people

  • Joseph

    If you watch this show for the jokes and hyperbole you are ok. If you watch this show for a serious discussion on the issue of the national debt you will be terribly misinformed. How did he do a 22min piece on the national debt and not once mention the Fed?

    • Joseph

      @L D I can wait to tell you I told you so. :)

    • L D
      L D

      Gee, Joe, I am sorry that you didn't find Oliver's comedic infotainment more enlightening. I guess one might assume that you might have done some research of your own. For what it's worth, Oliver did say that we own most of our own debt--(and much of it is owed to the Fed, Social Security, OMB (retirees), the Armed Forces Retirement Funds Private Mutual Funds, Medicare, etc.). As long as we can meet our obligations such as interest payments and paying out benefits, we will remain fiscally sound. Our bigger problem is cutting taxes needed to maintain our mandatory spending while having enough funds to pay for discretionary spending such as the military. Speaking of cutting taxes, Oliver did criticize the Republicans for cutting taxes in 2018 which increased the deficit from around 0.5 trillion to over one trillion. Yes, we had to spend two trillion more last year to keep our economy from completely collapsing.... If you want to balance the budget and perhaps pay down the National Debt a bit. You'd have to look at what we were doing in the 1960s and in the late-1990s--and no--I'm not taking about LSD... I'm sorry he didn't break in down more for you in that 22 minute segment. Maybe next time...

  • Darrien Colbert
    Darrien Colbert

    Further to add if the GOP holds cutting taxes so near and dear to their core how do they expect to pay for anything besides cutting the shit we as average citizens actually need; like healthcare, social security, education, etc...? Meanwhile spending at least double on defense MORE than the next closest competitor and atleast 10x as much as everyone else is somehow not enough.

    • L D
      L D on...

  • Darrien Colbert
    Darrien Colbert

    His bit on Reagan & co highlights one of the biggest misconceptions in our modern political landscape: That GOP presidents and majorities are better for the economy. Idk how this narrative took shape and hold but any recent measurements from 1980 (which marks the rise of Reagan & his policies, which for whatever reason is still seen as an economic standard bearer to the right) on up has shown Democratic presidents have had better track records.

  • Donald Williams
    Donald Williams

    Lets Sale Florida and Texas to anyone who wound want the piece of crap kick in the crouch States , Florida is under water (Sea rise) and Texas is out of Oil , Depended ON PIPE LINES Remember Deep Water Horizon that was a Texas non union Debacle !!!

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  • Jay Mills
    Jay Mills

    Amazing and accurate

  • Lesly Suzelhomme
    Lesly Suzelhomme

    Very informative I do like the whole presentation Sir Oliver.

  • 7Gtech **
    7Gtech **

    This guy is desilusional believing that debt will not affect the US. Well it is through inflation the US dollar is losing value and it will continue to do so. Other countries are hip to this careless way of printing money out of thin air believing that it doesn't have consequences. Many countries are bypassing the dollar in favor of other currencies that's a sign that they are turning their backs on the dollar buying bonds somewhere else and investing in other countries mostly China.

    • 7Gtech **
      7Gtech **

      @L D The US is the country with poor favorable ratings since they bomb and invade many countries. History will repeat itself with the US just like it did with England, Portugal the Dutch, Turkish, Romans, Greeks they ascended then descended. China will become the number one economy worldwide within a couple of years that's why you see hundreds of American companies doing business in that country. Most multinationals from different countries are there as well since China will become the biggest market to make big money.

    • L D
      L D

      Really? Do you really think companies and countries trust China more than the USA? China has a well-earned poor favorability rating worldwide. Very few democratic countries like China's foreign and domestic policies.

  • eric tomasek
    eric tomasek

    This discussion is a bi-partisan method of keeping everyone's eyes on the national deficit while money printed is loaned to the poor and then paid out to the pockets of the rich. Also, mild dishonesty here, becuase the bush jr and obama wrecks were both also bi-partisan. But I don't expect honesty when discussing money, so i'm ok with that.

  • Braunstein Freres
    Braunstein Freres

    This was like the last thing that my self and others in my family thought the republicans were good for, I guess that's out the window now too, or always was. Damn I thought we can at least have one nice thing to say about them lol

  • Owen Wade
    Owen Wade

    The cultured square latterly paddle because improvement appropriately occur for a mundane vietnam. hurt, uttermost crab

  • Bess Dalby
    Bess Dalby

    I used to think John Oliver was cool and genuinely cares about muckraking, but now I just see him as a tribalistic tool of the establishment whose role is to steer leftists’ attention sharply away from our corrupt fake bipartisan military-corporate run government by making Republicans into the perpetual “bad guys”. That is, IMO, absolutely the worst way to reign in a bipartisan tendency toward irresponsible spending policies that mainly serve to benefit corporate America.

  • Nana Noah
    Nana Noah

    When I started this video I didn't expect to learn I'm no longer interested in the second season of Bridgerton.

  • Fitness SanClan
    Fitness SanClan

    Good to see Oliver being a good American (not one of those Trumpsters) and (still) pushing the Democrat party's talking points. Come on folks, get on board, uncle Joe wouldn't lie to you. I like when Oliver covered the lie about 15 dollar minimum wage, the single payer health provision and 2000 dollar cheques. Oh wait, not a peep. Keep it up, John. LMAO

  • Scuba Guy
    Scuba Guy

    mainly because we are a standard currency and if we fall, the world falls. if the interests rates do go up. watch out. that payment will be pretty steep. but they will just cut programs.

  • WLH

    you kinda forgot to put in that the highest rates of US military deploiment are navy people to Japan. thousands of US soldiers just sitting in ships around japan for no reason, so maybe the debt to japan is not so cheap maybe it's just being paid by providing them with military resources instead of money.

  • Lindsey Lockwood
    Lindsey Lockwood

    Ooof these post Trump episodes suck

  • Unicron187

    as a european, i have to say, the s**t kinda hit the fan when the interest pay rate became greater than the money made (gdp) by the country; at the time of writing, you can still only get 50 euros in cash per day out of an atm...

  • Johnny G
    Johnny G

    Finding ONE economist that stated he doesn't know why the interest rates continued to fall for so long doesn't mean there aren't people who know. Leave it to John Oliver to make a blanket statement implying no one knows.

  • foggy wet dog
    foggy wet dog

    Get ready, Biden is going to quadruple it.