USA Today looks past the oft used current debt figure ($14 trillion) to look at the complete picture including all unfunded federal liabilities: What it found is not pretty.
Corporations would be required to count these new liabilities when they are taken on — and report a big loss to shareholders. Unlike businesses, however, Congress postpones recording spending commitments until it writes a check.
The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household.
USA TODAY has calculated federal finances based on standard accounting rules since 2004 using data from the Medicare and Social Security annual reports and the little-known audited financial report of the federal government.
Got to love ideologues who can brush off the enormity of $61.6 Trillion:
Michael Lind, policy director at the liberal New America Foundation’s economic growth program, says there is no near-term crisis for federal retirement programs and that economic growth will make these programs more affordable.
"The false claim that Social Security and Medicare are about to bankrupt the United States has been repeated for decades by conservatives and libertarians who pretend that their ideological opposition to these successful and cost-effective programs is based on worries about the deficit," he says.