It’s even more ethereally depressing to come into information that would indicate the size of the federal debt is many times larger than what is generally reported, according to https://nationaldebtadvice.org.uk/. But when you really look at at Federal obligations and promises, our debt is in fact far larger than the +/- 15 Trillion commonly bantered around.
Here’s a bit from CNBC on the topic.
Our REPORTED federal debt is $15.5 trillion. That includes $10.8 trillion in public debt…money used to run basic government operations … and $5 trillion in trust fund debt for things like highway work and airports.
The $15.5 trillion number is what gets thrown around most in political debate and coverage.
But there is a bunch of government spending commitments NOT included in that $15.5 trillion number. These include almost $6 trillion in expected retirement benefits for federal employees and veterans, $8 trillion in Social Security benefits that will come due, and the biggie…. $37 trillion in Medicare benefits.
Thanks to various government accounting rules, these numbers don’t get included in the main number until they actually come due. It strikes me that’s a little like only counting your car payment, rather than the whole car loan, as your debt load. But better minds than I come up with these rules.
We as a society will need to come to terms with this debt. Government has long over-promised, and it may need to enter a prolonged phase of under-delivering to get back on even ground.
What do you think of the Federal debt load? Is it a time bomb, or is it manageable?