USA Today calculates that the federal government’s long-term financial obligations grew by $2.5 trillion last year, a reflection of the mushrooming cost of Medicare and Social Security benefits as more baby boomers reach retirement. That $2.5 trillion in actual federal liabilities is 14 times the $162 billion the government officially announced as last year’s deficit.
Total national debt means that taxpayers are on the hook for a record $57 trillion in federal liabilities, or nearly $500,000 per household. When obligations of state and local governments are added, the total rises to $62 trillion, or $531,472 per household. Add Americans’ personal debt of roughly $15 trillion, and we wind up a total “American” debt of roughly $75 trillion. For a population of 300 million, that works out to about $250,000 in debt for every man, woman and child in this country. Thus, the “fair share” of total debt for an average family of four is $1 million.
That debt can’t possibly be paid. What can’t be paid, won’t be paid. Over the next few years, those creditors holding paper “promises to pay” are going to suffer fantastic losses.
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