It isn’t possible to know; the problem is both complex and political, i.e. doubly complex. An example of a “simple” problem- by comparison- would be that of two cars, each with passengers, colliding head on at 70 miles an hour and trying to predict fatalities, injuries, structural damage to the vehicles, etc. All that we can safely predict is 1) we can’t avoid it and 2) it will be a horrific calamity.
Presently we can’t even guess when the political will to acknowledge the problem will surface and then become sufficient to motivate change. The political left, for example, sticks to their Keynesian delusions and when shown the adverse results of their monetary policies continue to assert that we simply haven’t spent enough.
George Washington’s doctors diagnosed “inflammatory quinsy” and recommended more bleeding. That’s essentially the Left’s diagnoses today and their recommended remedy is the same: more bleeding!
We were warned well in advance of the dot com and mortgage bubbles. But they took a long time to burst; the capacity to lie, deceive and delude staggers the imagination. And the jeers were loud and prolonged (web search “Peter Schiff was right” for examples).
And it’s worse than we think. I’ve created a web page, thefrogpot.com that displays the bureaucratic structure of the 15 cabinet-level departments of the federal government + the EPA & GSA; it’s mind-numbing and stomach turning – and those are the smaller part of the problem! But between the federal bureaucracy and the taxpayer are, additionally, city, county and state bureaucracies as well.
If I were younger, I would be a “prepper” but even they may simply be setting themselves up to be targets; “hard” targets perhaps but targets, nevertheless, for the numbers will be large. Mad Max is perhaps an exaggeration but if one wants to plan for “worst case” it’s a good template.