From the WSJ article:
“The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.”
But wait it gets worse:
– US National Debt At $14 Trillion? Try $211 Trillion!!! (NPR, August 6, 2011):
“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” he says. “That’s our true indebtedness.”
– Prof. Kotlikoff: ‘The US is bankrupt’, Government Debt At $200 Trillion – 840 Percent of Current GDP (The Globe And Mail, Oct 27, 2010):
Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP. “Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”
And again, prepare for total collapse.
– Cox and Archer: Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt (Wall Street Journal, Nov 26, 2012):
Hiding the government’s liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can’t.
A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton’s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama’s recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.
Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.
A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come? Continue reading »
Tags: Bonds, Collapse, Debt, Economy, Global News, Government, Medicare, Politics, Social Security, U.S.