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 taxpayer
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