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Federal Government's Debt, Unfunded Obligations Grew Rapidly Last Year

Posted By Rob Bluey On June 7, 2011 @ 5:00 pm In Scribe | Comments Disabled

According to a new analysis from USA Today, American households are now on the hook for $534,000 to pay for the county’s debt and the unfunded obligations [1], or excess costs, for programs like Social Security and Medicare.

USA Today reveals the eye-popping numbers [2] for the federal government’s mounting fiscal problems. A staggering $5.3 trillion was added to the government’s tab last year, putting the overall figure at an astonishing $61.6 trillion.

The report offers fresh evidence that the time to act is now. Entitlement programs, in particular, are driving the debt crisis, despite what some in Congress and the White House would have you believe.

USA Today puts the increase for Medicare at $1.8 trillion. Social Security wasn’t far behind with $1.4 trillion increase.

When the $61.6 trillion is broken down per household, that equals $534,000 — a figure “more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else,” according to USA Today. By program, it looks like this [3]:

  • Medicare: $24.8 trillion
  • Social Security: $21.4 trillion
  • Federal debt: $9.4 trillion
  • Military retirement/disability benefits: $3.6 trillion
  • Federal employee retirement benefits: $2 trillion
  • State, local government obligations: $5.2 trillion

Despite the heated political rhetoric about programs like Medicare, the reality is that Washington can’t ignore the problem. Heritage’s new plan, Saving the American Dream [4], presents a path forward for fixing the debt, cutting spending and restoring prosperity.

New polling out today suggests America is seeking leadership on these issues. President Obama fairs poorly in the Washington Post-ABC News poll [5], getting negative marks from six in 10 on the deficit and economy.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/06/07/governments-unfunded-obligations-now-total-534000-per-household/

URLs in this post:

[1] unfunded obligations: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/06/cbo-long-term-budget-outlook-on-the-nations-fiscal-future

[2] USA Today reveals the eye-popping numbers: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-06-06-us-owes-62-trillion-in-debt_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

[3] By program, it looks like this: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-06-06-us-debt-chart-medicare-social-security_n.htm

[4] Saving the American Dream: http://savingthedream.org/

[5] Washington Post-ABC News poll: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-loses-bin-laden-bounce-romney-on-the-move-among-gop-contenders/2011/06/06/AGT5wiKH.html

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