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US Owes $61.6 Trillion For Medicare And SS

From the only mainstream news outlet that seems to be even mildly concerned about the deficit, USA Today:

U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
June 7, 2010

The federal government’s financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.

And coincidentally, Medicare and Social Security are the two programs that the Democrats are dead set against changing even one iota.

This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation’s gross domestic product.

That is a breath-taking statistic.

Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.

In other words, this didn’t inspire a debate to fix Medicare. It inspired a debate to borrow more money from the Chinese and Middle East to pay for more Medicare spending.

Social Security added $1.4 trillion in obligations, partly reflecting longer life expectancies

Luckily Obama-Care will fix that, eventually.

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.

Also, unlike businesses, Congress can just decide to to raise its credit limit. And, of course, print more money.

The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household.

That is yet another simply staggering number.

That’s more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt.

And remember how the news media and the Democrats used to chide us for our personal debt?

It reflects the challenge as the number of retirees soars over the next 20 years and seniors try to collect on those spending promises.

"The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn’t take into account what’s owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees," says accountant Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. "Without accurate accounting, we can’t make good decisions." …

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.

So why is this "little-known"?

The government has promised pension and health benefits worth more than $700,000 per retired civil servant. The pension fund’s key asset: federal IOUs.

Where is ‘Doctor’ Kevorkian when we need him?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “US Owes $61.6 Trillion For Medicare And SS”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “partly reflecting longer life expectancies…

    That’s a cute little nugget, ain’t it? Much inference can be drawn from that little aside.

    Solution: Kill them what’s got the nerve to live too long. Gee, that sounds somehow familiar….something…something….panels….Wait, don’t tell me….it’ll come to me.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      No matter what, when you die……..you’ll vote (D)emocrat and so will your family (if they know what’s good for them).

  2. Petronius says:

    “This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation’s gross domestic product.”


  3. tranquil.night says:

    “Without accurate accounting, we can’t make good decisions.”

    Say what now?

    Great commentary as usual Steve.

  4. Mae says:

    “The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household.”

    What is the true amount per household? What does that mean? If there are 20 persons in a household? 1 person? Is that stupid sentence in the “little-known report”?

    If I owe a half million plus 34 for lunch and drinks, may I declare bankruptcy, please?

    • Papa Louie says:

      Sorry Mae, bankruptcy is not an option. But you had better raise your debt limit pronto or something bad is going to happen. Capiche?

    • Right of the People says:

      Be prepared for your bill from the IRS for the 534K. Those 16,000 new agents will be around to collect.

  5. TerryAnne says:

    The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010



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