...if we continue to spend trillions more each year than we take in via taxes?
I have yet to see anyone articulate their best speculation as to how things will be when we finally run out of other people's money to fund a luxurious safety net for every American, and quite a few foreigners here illegally.
If you ask a liberal, they will give some lip service to the out of control deficit spending as a problem, but will suggest we get rid of our military, tax fat cat corporations out of existence, and ditto with those greedy millionaires and billionaires to correct the national deficit. Once all of that money that formerly went to the military complex and greedy rich sumbitches flows into the U.S. treasury, we will have plenty of money to make the U.S. a heaven on earth, where nobody has any want, need or even a single tear in any eye.
If you ask a rock ribbed conservative as to how things will end up, given our current trajectory of deficit spending, you might get a different spin as to what the future holds. First things first: Social Security (FICA) will become insolvent around 2030, give or take ten years. Once the treasury finds that it takes in less money than it needs to cover the checks, it will probably not send out notices to senior citizens that their checks will stop.
Nope, that will certainly end up with blood in the streets straight away. So what will our government likely do? Start printing money, just like they are now. Call it 'quantitative easing,' or whatever you would like to call this smoke and mirror tactic. In short order, since we will have so many dollars in circulation chasing the same amount of goods and services, inflation will ramp up. Once that occurs, oldsters' savings accounts (those that have them, most don't seem to have planned for the future) will buy less and less with these dollars.
Rather than just cut these geezers off cold turkey, this QE34, or whatever it is called by then, will simply delay the blood in the streets by a decade or two. But rather than simply screw the geezers out of their promised SS checks, the government will have screwed everybody, young and old, by wrecking the dollar and accordingly the economy.
But here is where people stop short (except Glenn Beck, a.k.a. Doctor Doom) in their speculation as to how this profligate irresponsible spending of money we don't have will manifest itself in our daily lives at some point in the future.
Once the checks stop, or continue to show up but are virtually worthless, people will opt out of the economy and a black market will replace it, much like the Weimar Republic in Germany after WWI, or more recently like the early days of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Rubles were no good, as it took a wheel barrow full of them to buy a Snickers bar. Cash was not worth the paper it was written on, and had value only as something to wipe one's posterior after a trip to the powder room.
Once the government realizes that nobody is paying taxes anymore, they will ramp up enforcement of tax collection efforts, and beef up IRS enforcement agents with hand cuffs, guns and mortars. They will target any and all sources of revenue for arrest, and society will at that point begin to break down. People targeted by the government, who had the foresight to see this kind of thing coming and to keep themselves well armed, will not take kindly to an armed government agent coming in to arrest them.
At this point, I would expect that a revolution of some kind would erupt. Would this revolution resemble the 1789 French Revolution, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lost their heads in a short three years? Probably not. France was for centuries prior to the revolution governed by an aristocracy and theocracy, widely considered to be a conservative bunch, where the wealth of the land was controlled by a privileged few well born and pious folk. The rabble that toppled this centuries old form of conservative government was considered at the time left wing.
We are still living with the progeny of the French Revolution, in the here and now with their Rights of Man baloney. It may indeed be the source of all of our crazy spending we are doing now: everyone has a right to a house, a right to food, a right to medicine, a right for this and a right for that. And included in these rights are nothing about paying for them, since a right is a right, regardless of the cost. Right?
No, our revolution will be somewhat the reverse of the French Revolution. Our government has been liberal based for many, many years now, and has spent us into oblivion. Conservative voices (anyone ever heard of 'The Tea Party'?) are speaking out against this madness with increasing volume. The revolution will be one of conservatives holding the torches and pitchforks, and the liberal leaders will be riding in the back of the wooden tumbrels en route to the guillotines.
I expect, however, that all of this revolution doom and gloom will likely be avoided, once America starts electing conservative adults to represent our long term interests, and oust the drunken-sailor liberals, who have spent us into a pending catastrophe.