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Why Are We Not Talking About America’s $123 Trillion In Unfunded Liabilities?

Most Americans know that our nation is spending more than it is taking in (the deficit). Though many on the Left do not seem to understand (or care about) the consequences of out of control spending, most Americans do know that the nation has America has over $16.5 trillion in debt–or, nearly $53,000 of debt for every man, woman and child.

While $16.5 trillion of debt is clearly unsustainable, what is even more alarming is what we are not talking about: The fact that, in addition to the $16.5 trillion of debt we currently have, every man, woman, and child in America also is on the hook for nearly $400,000 in unfunded liabilities–or, over $1 million for every household.

US Unfunded Liabilities

Though their numbers appear to vary slightly (not including the unfunded liabilities of ObamaCare, for example), in their November Wall Street Journal article, writers Chris Cox and Bill Archer explain the lack of knowledge about the unfunded liabilities as:

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

Why haven’t Americans heard about the titanic $86.8 trillion liability from these programs? One reason: The actual figures do not appear in black and white on any balance sheet.

To be sure, the nation’s fiscal problems are a bi-partisan issue, caused by years of buying votes among specific constituencies. As a result, those constituencies are now entitled to the benefits which have yet to be paid for.

Today, while those politicians wrestle with Obama’s self-induced sequestration deal, (which slashes defense spending while barely nibbling at the fat that has become the national budget), no one wants to deal with the real issue at hand: Politicians in Washington have enslaved future generations with the costs of various entitlement programs.

Perhaps it’s time we raise it to their attention–seriously.
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“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

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