Hundreds of thousands from each taxpayer: the real US national debt is catastrophically higher than the official one
America's national debt exceeds $ 123 trillion, more than four times the official figure of $ 28 trillion calculated by the US Treasury Department at the end of March, according to a new report. Writes about it The Epoch Times.
Federal spending related to the pandemic and economic isolation increased the total by nearly $ 10 trillion in 2020, according to the latest edition of the country's 2021 Financial Statements, compiled and published annually by the Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting (TIA).
But spending in a pandemic is only a small fraction of the overall difference between official government figures and TIA's estimates.
“Our assessment of the government's financial health includes declared federal assets and liabilities, as well as promised but not funded social security and medical assistance benefits,” the report said. "Elected and unelected officials have repeatedly made financial decisions that have left the federal government with a $ 123,11 trillion debt burden, including unfunded promises in welfare and health care."
The TIA report includes $ 55,12 trillion in unfunded Medicare benefits and $ 41,20 trillion in unfunded Social Security benefits in its total debt calculation.
Treasury officials do not include unfunded benefits because they argue that recipients are not entitled to future payments, but only those that comply with current disbursement laws.
The total debt, according to the report, “equals a burden of $ 796 for each federal taxpayer. Because the federal government will need such a huge amount of taxpayer money to cover this debt, it received an F for its financial condition. "
Unlike many state governments, the federal government does not maintain a cash reserve to cover expenses caused by unexpected crises such as the virus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic and the associated stimulus packages caused some deterioration because the government had to borrow money. If the federal government was properly prepared for the crisis with a real rainy day fund, it would not have to borrow money, ”TIA said.
Defense and veterans benefits accounted for the largest share of federal spending in 2020 at 23%, followed by health and social services at 19%, social security at 16%, interest on debt at 5%, and 2% on education. A third (35%) of expenses went to what TIA called “other”.
Rep. Jason Smith (Republican), the first-seat minority member on the Budget Commission, referred to a March 31 statement in which Smith criticized President Joe Biden and Democratic Congressional spending proposals.
“Washington's Democrats have a troubling appetite for spending. They just passed a nearly $ 2 trillion bailout bill. President Biden is now proposing to turn around and cut another $ 2 trillion to spend on a huge package of rules, Smith wrote. "All the while, the president reportedly has another $ 2 trillion spending proposal in his back pocket, awaiting its news series."
Campaign strategists and nonprofit activists interviewed by The Epoch Times about the TIA report agreed that debt requires serious attention to get it under control.
Jim Manley, former director of public affairs for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat), said that “at some point, both sides will have to have serious negotiations about the need to clean up the financial system, which includes both taxes and costs. but I don't think this will happen anytime soon, our policy is too toxic. "
Another Democratic campaign strategist, Kevin Chavus, told The Epoch Times: “It was a problem that both sides simply could not solve. However, this will not be corrected by doing the same. " He expects that "the infrastructure law will create jobs and boost the economy by investing in modern technology and cleaner energy sources that will make Americans more productive and competitive in the coming years."
Taxpayer Protection Alliance (TPA) President David Williams pointed to the need to cut federal spending.
“The $ 123 trillion debt should be a wake-up call for the country. The bill must be paid very soon, which could have dire consequences for taxpayers and the country, ”he said.
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Williams said Biden and congressional leaders “appear oblivious to the massive financial crisis taking place right under their noses. It is even worse if they are aware of serious financial problems, but do nothing to solve them. Rather than looking for ways to spend more money, Congress and the president must find ways to cut spending. ”
When The Epoch Times asked TIA President Sheila Weinberg if it was wise to rely on future economic growth to tackle the debt problem, she responded negatively and noted that the US Treasury agreed.
“The authors of the US government financial report felt that under current law and policy, a significant implied increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio — for example, if future debt grows faster than GDP — is simply unacceptable,” she said. "Under current laws and policies, we cannot get out of this situation, especially since Medicare is growing faster than inflation."
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