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US national debt is actually $70 trillion



A new study by an American economist concludes that the U.S. federal debt is mind-bogglingly larger than it is officially said to be. The study by James D. Hamilton of the University of California, San Diego, says the U.S. government’s off-balance-sheet liabilities are six times the size of the official debt or $70.1 trillion.
“U.S. federal debt has exploded in recent years, growing from $5 trillion (or 36% of GDP) in 2007 to an estimated $12 trillion (72% of GDP) by the end of 2013,” Hamilton said in a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

But the $12 trillion federal debt is only the tip of the iceberg because the figure is not inclusive of a number of off-balance-sheet commitments and liabilities.

“But the officially reported debt is only one respect in which current policy has left a burden for future taxpayers. In addition the government has made a number of implicit and explicit commitments that are not included in the net debt figures just reported, but which could potentially require much larger adjustments in future spending or taxes than those associated with paying interest on the official debt itself. The biggest items in this category come from Social Security and Medicare which, if current policy is maintained, will require enormous sacrifices from future taxpayers.”

The study identifies five key off-balance-sheet commitments which are “support for housing, other loan guarantees (including federal loan guarantee programs in addition to those involving housing such as loans for post-high-school education, small business loans and loans from the Export-Import Bank of the United States), deposit insurance, actions taken by the Federal Reserve, and government trust funds.”

The biggest category of off-balance-sheet liabilities comes from the additional funds that the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds believe would need to be found in order to fulfill commitments to current program participants (i.e., those currently aged 15 and older). These are reported to be $26.5 trillion for Social Security and $27.6 trillion for Medicare.

“These numbers are so huge it is hard even to discuss them in a coherent way … But although one can quarrel with the specific numbers, there is an undeniable important reality that they reflect-- the U.S. population is aging, and an aging population means fewer people paying in and more people expecting benefits. This reality is unambiguously going to be a key constraint on the sustainability of fiscal policy for the United States. One would think we should be saving as a nation today as preparation for retirement, and if in fact we are not, the current enormous on-balance-sheet federal debt is all the more of a concern,” the paper says.

“Adding all these items together, I calculate total off-balance-sheet federal liabilities of around $70 T, or 6 times the size of reported on-balance-sheet liabilities,”

The paper working concludes that “Some may argue that the current off-balance-sheet liabilities of the U.S. federal government are smaller than those tabulated here; others could arrive at larger numbers. These off-balance-sheet concerns may or may not translate into significant on-balance-sheet problems. But one thing seems undeniable-- they are huge. And implicit or explicit commitments of such a huge size have the potential to have huge economic consequences, perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse. Acknowledging their size is a necessary first step for making wise policy decisions.”


Added: Jul-30-2013 Occurred On: Jul-30-2013
By: ikeaMokey
In:
Other News, Politics
Tags: dollar, usdollar, petrodollar, usa
Views: 948 | Comments: 22 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Add up the unfunded liabilities and derivatives and you'll see why I’m in favor of assets over debt and embrace self-determination over dependence. People call me crazy, I call them lemmings.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • @Moore Slayer
      Couldn't of said it better.

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • @Moore Slayer

      the problem is banks make the most money with debt so guess what will happen in future years. they will either start cooking the books or make debt less profitable but hey if you try to tell banks how much loan fee they can charge people probably start yelling "communist" to whatever president would do such a thing and rather have debt be a good thing for banks ...

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Who cares. As long as there's enough paint for the printing-machines, no problem...

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'DevilsLoneWolf' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • $5 trillion (36% of GDP) in 2007 to an estimated $12 trillion (72% of GDP) by the end of 2013



    Aaaauuuggghhhhhh

    Thanks allot you fucking idiots who voted for obama, now my great great great grand kids will be paying down this debt, because of you ignorant uninformed ass holes.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'CatJuggler' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @CatJuggler - Either you did not read where US debt tripled under Obamas watch, or your just plain fucking eaten up with stupidity. Which one us it ?

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'CatJuggler' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I'll never vote for another Democrat for President ever again...

    Hey wait.

    I never have!

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'nomadlife' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @nomadlife

      jup he did he made as much debt in 2 terms as obama did in his first...

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • @mrgod2u

      Democrat or Republican... same shite with a different face.

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'nomadlife' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @nomadlife

      well he promised change he could have foccused more on problems at home and try to fix what bush did instead he did choose to keep on doing what was done before. i do understand that pulling out of warzones from day one would be a disaster too the problem is he is not really pulling out more like trying to establish some sort what is in germany to this day (having military bases) and also instead of not sticking his fingers everywhere there are wars going hes pumping in money now More..

      Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Leeky_Deeky' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Unfortunately, those who run this country - and I don't mean Obama, more someone like Goldman Sachs - want us, our children, our grandchildren and so on to be in debt from birth, working your ass off and giving a huge chunk of it to them.

    Rothschilds have enslaved us all. We are born slaves. Thank you Federal Reserve.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • most of this is down the road ..inflation will solve most of this shit...

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user '1SicKat' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Bullshit number with bullshit con game wake up you fools! America was over in 1912 with the federal reserve act! You are just a poorly paid slaves!

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'bengordon115' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I'm never going to get my social security check when I retire, am I.........

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • One of the goals stated by al CIA da back when the towers were first hit was to put the US economy 70 trillion in debt with per longed war , at which time it would no longer be sustainable . Hummm pretty smart .

    Posted Jul-31-2013 By 

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  • Here is my prediction, detroit is going to be the all eyes on. It is going to be the test ground and if they can pull it off!!! ALL STATES ARE GOING TO FOLLOW SUIT!. There going to try to wash away all the pensions!, YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET!. Alot of ppl are going to commit suicide over this!.

    Posted Jul-31-2013 By 

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  • But still they have cash to suport terorists in syria.

    Posted Jul-31-2013 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Brock Lee' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • But sure it is the 'richest' nation in the world.

    After all it can afford to drop $100,000 by the 50 a day on other nations. While it has 100 million citizens on food stamps and another million citizens living on the streets.

    So 70 trillion in debt is no skin off the nose of the American population....

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • YAY! Our government sucks camel cocks. we're fucked folks. Simple as that.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • lol at the Obama comments, like it's his fault. Democrats and Republicans are both the same: globalist neoliberals that now serve the autonomous class of Goldman Sachs bankers.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Wouldn't be the first time a country told it's debtors to go fuck themselves.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • where the hell is this "economist" getting his numbers?

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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  • Nobody gives a shit, turns out this is just a number.

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'bengordon115' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Stop the wars, give it to the people!

    Posted Jul-30-2013 By 

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