The Federal Government tax revenues are only 16.5% of GDP for 2018. The total tax to GDP ratio for the United States is 27% (including all state/local taxes). That is pretty low by developed nation standards:
https://www.oecd.org/tax/revenue-statis ... states.pdf
OECD wrote:The United States ranked 31st out of 36 OECD countries in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio in 2017. In 2017, the United States had a tax-to-GDP ratio of 27.1% compared with the OECD average of 34.2%. In 2016, the United States was ranked 32nd out of the 36 OECD countries in terms of the tax-to-GDP ratio.
Keep in mind that is from 2017. Before
the recent tax cuts. If increasing deficits become either economically or politically untenable, there is a great deal of room to collect more revenue. In other words, Mr Dalio's prediction of needing to run the printing presses is looking at the issue from only one direction. I do not know what will happen, but if history is any guide some combination of tax increases and budget cuts are likely to occur at some point.
Instead of gold or commodities I think the issues he raised instead point to the value of Roth vs Traditional retirement accounts. If taxes increase in the future, Roth will be more valuable.
One final point is that this is a medium term problem not a long term one. Gen X (currently in peak earning/taxpaying years) is smaller than the Boomers thus causing a crunch on the budget with relatively lower tax revenues compared with when the Boomers were in peak earning years. But by 2030 the Millennial's will be at their peak earnings age. They are not only bigger than the Boomers but are in fact the most numerous generation in American history...well second most. Gen Z behind them is slightly larger still.
Once the population bottleneck of the Boomers/Gen X's relative disparity works itself out, the demographics will make the budget issue even easier to solve.
Stay the course
, and ignore the noise.