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Missed Fortune – The U.S. Economy is a Sinking Ship and David Walker

Posted on | May 7, 2009

Are you standing on the corner of “CONFUSED” and “TROUBLED”? It’s no wonder.

When David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), left office about one-and-a-half years ago, he stated he needed to retire so he could tell the American public the truth.


The truth is we currently have national debt that exceeds $11.2 trillion, which represents a liability of $36,000 per American citizen.

Not only that, but the Trustees of Social Security estimate a current unfunded liability in excess of $100 trillion in 2009 dollars. This means that the federal government has obligated itself to pay more than $100 trillion over and above any taxes it expects to receive. In other words, that’s how much would have to be invested at US Treasury rates to pay the future liability owed to Social Security recipients who have faithfully paid into the system during their careers.

Most people can’t even begin to comprehend what $100 trillion is. It’s “100″ with 12 zeros to the right. Just $1 trillion would be $1 dollar bills lined up end-to-end from here to the moon and back-200 times!

Even though many believe that Social Security is our greatest entitlement problem, Medicare is six times larger in terms of unfunded obligations, according to David Walker of the GAO.

It would require $700,000 from every full-time working individual in America in order to cover this huge liability.

In the meantime, the interest alone on the national debt accrues at $41 million an hour (just under $1 billion a day)-that’s $690,000 per minute, or $11,500/second!

I concur with David Walker-we have a responsibility to face this honestly. We must not leave this burden behind to our children.

sinking ships and david walker Missed Fortune   The U.S. Economy is a Sinking Ship and David WalkerIt is clear the federal government will be forced either to scale back drastically or raise taxes dramatically. Medicare and Medicaid alone will trump funding for national defense, energy, education-the whole works. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, by mid-century, a middle income family will have to pay two-thirds of its income in taxes-and don’t forget the accompanying inflation!

The US economy is a sinking ship, and Congress is preoccupied rearranging the deck chairs, hoping that more weight on the portion still above water will bring the ship level. It’s time that Americans board a life boat and weather the economic storms ahead.

Doug Andrew

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One Response to “Missed Fortune – The U.S. Economy is a Sinking Ship and David Walker”

  1. Economic Stimulus that Won’t Cost Tax Payers $3.6 Trillion–$36K Each | Missed Fortune Super Blog
    May 19th, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

    [...] my last blog article I talked about the magnitude of the national debt and the $100 trillion of unfunded liability the [...]

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