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.—The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household. That’s more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other 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.
But not to worry, a “liberal” spokesman says:
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.
That’s because conservatives and libertarians have been RIGHT ABOUT IT FOR DECADES. The liberals have pooh-poohed the warnings for decades because of their ideology, and the chickens, as the saying goes, are now coming home to roost. “Cost effective”? COST EFFECTIVE??
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.
I don’t have any money? Well let me write myself an IOU!
We are well and truly screwed.