Scott Eells, Bloomberg
The fiscal state of the U.S. generally focuses on the $1 trillion budget deficit and the $16 trillion national debt. But this number doesn’t take into consideration the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The above graph, compiled by Veronique De Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, offers a snapshot into what the real U.S. debt situation might look like.
Keep in mind that “this money is not due in the future; it’s like a credit card bill the country owes right now. If we don’t pay interest on it, the debt will continue to accumulate. Addressing our unfunded liabilities problem requires fundamental entitlement reform and reductions in federal spending,” according to De Rugy.
Some other main takeaways, according to De Rugy, include:
- “Former chairman of the SEC Chris Cox and former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee Bill Archer (2012) report roughly $87 trillion in unfunded liabilities using data from the Medicare and Social Security Trustees’ Reports. Their measures account for the unfunded liabilities—including Social Security, Medicare, federal workers’ pensions—in addition to the official debt.
- Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff calculates a “fiscal gap” amount of $222 trillion using the Congressional Budget Office’s alternative long-term budget forecast. The fiscal gap measure takes into consideration the present value of all the expenditures now through the end of time (including servicing the official debt) and subtracts all the projected taxes from that amount.
- Both alternative debt figures dwarf the $16 trillion official debt figure, even when you add the $55 trillion Treasury estimate for unfunded liabilities to total $71 trillion.”
- Join the discussion: Is feminism misunderstood?
- Dan Liljenquist: The economic impact of...
- In our opinion: Timing is right for the...
- In our opinion: Federal contracting executive...
- My view: Utah's Constitution requires state...
- Perceptions of Obama and his policies at home...
- Capitalism and the common good: Fairness,...
- Can a news channel 'solve problems'?
- Lawrence and Windsor won't trump Utah... 114
- In our opinion: The Affordable Care Act... 79
- In our opinion: The long-term outlook... 51
- Can a news channel 'solve problems'? 47
- Join the discussion: Is feminism... 38
- Capitalism and the common good:... 37
- My view: A global warming solution to... 36
- In our opinion: Timing is right for the... 36