U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by TLSS_N, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

    The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.

    This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product.

    Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.

    STORY: Government's mountain of debt

    Social Security added $1.4 trillion in obligations, partly reflecting longer life expectancies. Federal and military retirement programs added more to the financial hole, too.

    Corporations would be required to count these new liabilities when they are taken on — and report a big loss to shareholders. Unlike businesses, however, Congress postpones recording spending commitments until it writes a check.

    The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $527,000 per household. That's more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt. It reflects the challenge as the number of retirees soars over the next 20 years and seniors try to collect on those spending promises.

    "The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn't take into account what's owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees," says accountant Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. "Without accurate accounting, we can't make good decisions."

    Michael Lind, policy director at the liberal New America Foundation's economic growth program, says there is no near-term crisis for federal retirement programs and that economic growth will make these programs more affordable.

    "The false claim that Social Security and Medicare are about to bankrupt the United States has been repeated for decades by conservatives and libertarians who pretend that their ideological opposition to these successful and cost-effective programs is based on worries about the deficit," he says.

    USA TODAY has calculated federal finances based on standard accounting rules since 2004 using data from the Medicare and Social Security annual reports and the little-known audited financial report of the federal government.

    The government has promised pension and health benefits worth more than $700,000 per retired civil servant. The pension fund's key asset: federal IOUs.[/p]

    source

    sure, what's 60 trillion here or there? I was payed that much for my job last week!
     


  2. tijntje_7

    tijntje_7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hey, only 15 trillion more and they're higher in debt than limewire could have been [​IMG]

    But god, seriously that's one huge fucking debt o..O
     
  3. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    I wish people would wake up and see that we can't pay for every last penny, serious reforms need to happen and happen now.
     
  4. 431unknown

    431unknown Greatness Awaits

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    Is that all? I would expect that to rise quite a bit more in the years to come. And the government has the balls to tell its citizens not to live beyond thier means. lol
     
  5. blackrider

    blackrider Banned

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    Yeah let's hear it for socialism and Obamanomics. If that worked the Soviet Union would have won the cold war. People are going to have to realize that all the promises or health care and social security and all the other entitlements don't amount to a hill of beans. If any of those programs are to be saved people are going to have to live with painful cuts.
     
  6. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    The US spends far more on healthcare per head than any country with universal healthcare, AND more government money on it. If you want to save money, there's where you need to start. Pure capitalism is just as much a pipe dream as communism. No country has survived without at least some socialist aspects. You need a mixed economy for a society to function and things like roads, the military, police and fire service and healthcare need to fall on the socialist side. People can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps if their employees are ill or if they can't get to work because of poor roads or public transport.
     
  7. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    careful you two, or you'll be called right wing nut jobs.

    seriously, the election cycle can't come fast enough.
     
  8. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    or... or we could cut 95 percent of the federal education department..... and that's just a start.
     
  9. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    And then you won't have an educated workforce for businesses to employ. And then only rich kids will get a good education. I thought the idea was that anyone could be a billionaire if they put the effort in, not just Chinese educated out-sourcers and heiresses?
     
  10. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    do you remember the whole government shutdown fiasco? when it came very, very close they had to decide who would go, and who would stay. for the department of education it was revealed that they could fire 95 % of the departments employees and still operate efficiently.
     
  11. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Oh really, revealed by who? You always see these figures put about, how you can make enormous cuts without affecting frontline services. Never seems to work the same way in practise as the theories put about by such idealists.
     
  12. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    we where at a McDonalds on the road and they had CNN playing, I heard it there. The private sector is always there, it's not like all of those individuals are in one central location, they can go find a job like everyone else.
     
  13. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    It's true. Many classes here in the US public schools contain only up to 25 kids. While universities and other such Educational institutions have 50+ people attending sessions. If State run education was thoroughly evaluated and reformed, many cuts and efficiency issues could be rectified.
     
  14. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    What everyone seems to forget, is that issues are not sudden--they arrive because of a build up over time. What's showing its head now isn't new, and hasn't been sleeping--it's been roving all along, beside you, and you (deciding whoever that is) fucked up by letting it rove in the first place.

    Most people operate on purely surface levels. They worry when someone shows them something to worry about. Then they panic, as if what they were shown is something that needs to be taken care of. The entire time, there's a plethora of issues running amok, that are never shown, usually until it's too late to do much about it. Some of the time, that misguidance is intentional.
     
  15. Celice

    Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    At pure undergrad, general ed requirements, yes, and that's for some certain types of schools. Most actual, in-depth courses don't put you with such stupidly large numbers. That's no longer a school--that's a vocational study. Lower sizes is what is needed for actual education to occur. You start cutting that, and fuck education to the ground--it's not worth it anymore. Lest you want some basic Tom to do some basic work under a basic guideline.
     
  16. BlueStar

    BlueStar GBAtemp Psycho!

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    There's a difference between 'efficiencies' and slashing 95% of the funding and pretending the outcome will be the same. Cut too much, you cripple economic growth and end up with more debt long term. It's overly simplistic to think it's just a matter of less spending=less debt. It's like if you have a business and you think the best way to gain money is to move your premises to a shack in the middle of nowhere, where the rent is cheaper, hire $4 an hour staff and make your products from plastic rather than metal.

    Cutting everything possible might give you a short term gain, but you'll pay for it later.

    See that list of the happiest countries in the world on here recently? Or any ranking of countries by quality of life? You see any countries with bare-bones taxes and spending anywhere near the top of those?
     
  17. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    We're talking elementary, middle, and high school levels. I could understand elementary levels needing teachers and stuff, but Middle and Highschool need larger instructor classrooms and better tools. I speak from experience that most State run schools are managed horribly, and the kids behave even worse. If there is one thing I admire about European countries is that their Pay to Learn educational system doesn't have to same behavioral issues as American schools.
     
  18. Blaze163

    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    And here's me worrying about a £56 phone bill I can't pay...Nice to have some perspective.
     
  19. TLSS_N
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    TLSS_N Who is John Galt?

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    so a business which over employes the amount they need, especially 95 % and keeps them on for years and years shouldn't cut the fat when the time comes? it's this type of logic that brought us to the position we are currently in. It's called pork for a reason. and it's not less spending=less debt, it's less spending= bringing your budget into balance by conserving your resources and paying off your debt.
     
  20. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    With a public debt like this:

    [​IMG]

    it's a wonder this country is still even running. You Americans are living in a colossus on clay legs that's starting to wobble "a little bit".

    ...the debt clock is dynamic, don't be suprised if it changes.