Skip to comments.Cox and Archer: Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt
Posted on 11/27/2012 7:08:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama's recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.
Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.
A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?
As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion "fiscal cliff" and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government's unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheetif the government prepared an accurate one.
But it hasn't. For years, the government has gotten by without having to produce the kind of financial statements that are required of most significant for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. The U.S. Treasury "balance sheet" does list liabilities such as Treasury debt issued to the public, federal employee pensions, and post-retirement health benefits. But it does not include the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and other outsized and very real obligations.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
A large part is that the investment is still perceived to be “safe,” whether you are a foreigner, or not. Another part might be the “it won’t happen to me, it will happen to them”-syndrome.
Barry says “if I have checks, I have money”.
Lets pause for a second over “imports”.
When was the last time that you could buy a TV made in America? When was the last time that you could find a pair of tennis shoes made in the US? When was the last time that you could find a microwave made in the US?
Our entire economy is now based on imports. We can’t manufacture much of anything...even cellphones.
It’d be nice to reopen the door...but frankly, when you figure up the cost of manufacturing a TV in the US or Taiwan....and there’s a $700 difference between the two same versions, there’s not much to talk about. We priced ourselves out of the mess.
Yeah, our trade dealing is part of the problem but this is a untouchable item. Just like pumping oil out of Texas and thinking it’ll be used in the US, when there’s tankers sitting in the Gulf and ready to transport Texas oil over to Italy.
Excellent! The first step is to double the cost of oil.
Don’t be obtuse. You don’t pay the tariff on oil unless you buy oil.
Making America more lucrative and inviting to foreign investment, heck for our own companies too, is the only way to grow the economy and jobs.
Government jobs ain’t going to do it
SS and Medicare are not contractual debts.
They are political promises.
Made by a couple of generations of politicians who ignored the Enumerated Powers, stole the money, and spent it on their own political self-aggrandizement. Every red cent.
Unemployed people draw unemployment which adds to the debt/deficit, should I start talking to you like first grader. Do you really know basic math and economics?
Don’t forget, we can double the cost of imported oil and the price of domestic oil will remain unchanged.
You didn't even read the friggin' article before coming here. You are part of the problem. Get out of the way and let the adults fix it.
For the sake of argument (since you are better at scientific notation), how many $100,000.00/year jobs do we need to "bring back?" Assuming that 50% of that 100K goes to the feds. What's 87 trillion divided by 50K? Heck, what is 16 trillion divided by 50K?
The debt will melt away when the dollar collapses. I am heavily invested in gold so creeps like you are doing me a favor. Free Trade is hastening the fall. Some tariffs and sane trade policies might help but it will never happen. One day I will be rich but not very proud.
When the dollar collapses, you can join the rest of your Democrat friends in blaming everything but the actual cause.
Can't let that one slip past, either. What's next, calling me a "teabagger?"
We agree the dollar is toast. Well lets leave it at that.
Leave what at what? Like, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about? We can stop there, sure.
Ok, so the dollar survives? How so? The only way out is inflation, anyone can see the Govt will take the easy way out. Only an idiot would see it any other way.