Sunday, May 27, 2012

'The Deficit's Even Worse Than We Thought'

From the Indianapolis Star:
The federal deficit is worse -- much worse -- than you may think.
That's because there's government-style accounting, which reported an official deficit in the last budget year of $1.3 trillion.
Then there's real-world accounting, the kind that applies to businesses and state and local governments. By federal law and under accounting rules set by oversight boards, most entities have to include retirement commitments in their financial records.
But Congress and the president use a different set of rules (of course), so shortfalls in obligations such as Social Security and Medicare aren't included in the official deficit report.
USA Today, however, calculated the deficit with entitlement programs included. And the newspaper found -- are you ready, for this? Best hold on to something firm -- that the actual deficit last year was $5 trillion.
There's more -- and you really should sit down for this one. To cover the promises it has made to retirees and current workers, the federal government would need $22.2 trillion (yes, that's with a T) set aside in reserves and earning interest. Such reserves don't exist, of course. Instead, the government continues to pile up more debt, and at increasingly alarming rates.
Hat tip to Conservatives4Palin.

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