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Economist Presents Scary US Debt Number: $70T

Economist Presents Scary US Debt Number: $70T

(NEWSER– If you're worried about our country's fiscal health, you may want to stop reading. A UC San Diego economics professor sees a problem area we're overlooking: "the growth of federal liabilities that are not included in the officially reported numbers." James Hamilton did the math, and claims that these off-balance-sheet federal liabilities totaled $70.1 trillion as of last year; that's six times the $11.9 trillion in US debt held by the public (ie, the reported on-balance-sheet debt), according to the Treasury Department. Here's Hamilton's breakdown of unfunded liabilities, per the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Washington Examiner:

  • Medicare obligations to future retirees, $27.6 trillion
  • Social Security obligations to future retirees, $26.5 trillion
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and other housing commitments: $7.5 trillion

Read the full story on Newser.com

   
 

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