Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Before Obamacare, there was $222 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities on the books for the federal leviathan. The money does not exist on the face of the planet to discharge those responsibilities. That, by the bye, is in excess of what is actually funded and paid for, yet no one is talking about that. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the government shutdown but not talking about the partisan bickering and the naked partisanship that is at play here, and also asking the question of what seriously is going to be the end result of all this. If you want to shut the government down because legislative acts have gone out of control, it’s not just Obamacare that’s out of control. The Affordable Care Act is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Before Obamacare, there was $222 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities on the books for the federal leviathan. The money does not exist on the face of the planet to discharge those responsibilities. That, by the bye, is in excess of what is actually funded and paid for, yet no one is talking about that. You can’t find that discussion with the proverbial search warrant and one of those fancy schmancy high-beam, powerful halogen lights you see in all the creepy movies where people have to go into caverns and whatnot to go track down what it is they’re looking for. Keep that in perspective.
RealClearPolicy.com, this is a blog post from 1 December 2012. I asked the question earlier about military spending and about how 800,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense, that that number has to be incorrect. That does not include military personnel. Why isn’t that being discussed in the hallowed halls of Congress? It’s because decepticons don’t want to deal with that. The military industrial complex is a sacred cow to some. Really, one that big and large is sacred? Listen to this. If you want to talk about real problems, here’s a real problem to discuss, “Economist Laurence Kotlikoff: U.S. $222 Trillion in Debt.”
On Tuesday, the Republicans Chris Cox and Bill Archer argued in the Wall Street Journal that a more accurate accounting of the government’s liabilities would show that the national debt was closer to $87 trillion than to the stated $16 trillion.
Some commentators, including the Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson, took issue with Cox and Archer’s analysis, arguing that the only way to assess debt is the way it’s currently done — by summing up the number of government bonds outstanding.
I asked Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff, an expert on the national debt, to weigh in on the conversation.
RealClearPolicy: Cox and Archer argue that the U.S.’s underlying debt is much higher than the officially stated debt of $16 trillion. They argue that if you add up the unfunded obligations the government has — to Social Security, Medicare, federal workers’ pensions, and so on — the real debt is about $87 trillion. Can that be right?
Kotlikoff: That’s wrong. It’s $222 trillion.
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