Get PJ Media on your Apple

Debt Limit, Huh: Unfunded Liabilities Dwarf $16.7 Trillion ‘Ceiling’

We owe money which we cannot ever accrue. That's how nations fall.

by
Myra Adams

Bio

October 9, 2013 - 12:28 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

President Obama and the Treasury Department are demanding that Congress raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling so that the government can continue borrowing in order to pay its current obligations before the October 17 deadline. However, and known to far too few citizens, $16.7 trillion is a fraction of the total national debt owed by our government. Missing from the discussion about raising the limit on the government’s credit card are trillions in unfunded liabilities that the United States of America simply will not ever be able to pay.

What exactly are unfunded liabilities? They are payments the government knows it owes in the future, including the future costs of Medicare, Social Security, and the prescription drugs of Medicare Part D. You can follow the unfunded liabilities tab on the U.S. Debt Clock website — right now, this site estimates our unfunded liabilities to be $125.7 trillion. In 2017, if current trends continue, the site’s “Debt Clock Time Machine” estimates unfunded liabilities will reach $153 trillion.

Amazing as it seems (and no private firm would ever contemplate such deceitful accounting), these trillions in unfunded liabilities are not itemized on the current U.S. Treasury balance sheet. However, due to a demographic bulge comprising 28% of the total U.S. population now reaching retirement, these mounting “unfunded” obligations can no longer be ignored. The first crop of post-war children from 1946 began turning 65 in 2011 at the rate of 10,000 a day. This pace will continue until 2029, when the last group of boomers born in 1964 turn 65.

Our government will struggle to generate enough tax revenue to pay for what is owed and promised, but 76 million rapidly aging baby boomers overwhelm the number of younger workers paying into the system. Eventually, between the interest on the debt and the benefit payments themselves, there will be no money left in the federal budget for anything else.

Here is what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote in its 2013 Long-Term Budget Outlook report released on September 17:

Choices For The Future

The unsustainable nature of the federal government’s current tax and spending policies presents lawmakers and the public with difficult choices. Unless substantial changes are made to the major health care programs and Social Security, those programs will absorb a much larger share of the economy’s total output in the future than they have in the past.

Yet the phrase “unsustainable nature” isn’t heard often from our current administration and media. This climate could lead to our national “demise” because Medicare, Medicare Part D, and Social Security are not going to change. Whenever there is talk of reforming these programs, a national outcry follows.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I was born in '63, my wife in '64. We are NOT boomers. They stole our birth years as they got into government and academic positions. When I looked in the encyclopedia in fifth grade, it said Baby Boom, '46-'60.
We did not get:
Cheap gas
Cheap housing
Cheap/free tuition.
BS jobs trading worthless junk on "The Street"
And other assorted Boomer freebies.
So when they rope us into their largess, they're once again proving what a generation of pigs they are. They do what they want. They did Woodstock, then they ran out of buck, did Wall Street, decided to have kids and jacked up the price of housing, making it into a commodity, rather than a necessity. Now they're all "disabled" or recreating for the next 30 or 40 years. Honestly, we're all sick of them.
But what's owed is owed. So what we need to do is admit that this generation of pigs wrecked us, and make a bright line, now.
My children, in their 20s are already screwed. They are planning on renting, living like refugees and waiting for us to die. And that's what I told them to do. No matter who's elected, it won't work. So my advice to them is to buy tangible assets, the most tangible being, happiness. They'll never be able to tax you for being close to work, or enjoying your job, or flexible hours. And of course, so long as there is cash, that's king.
Everyone I know with kids in their 20s in the NYC metro area whose kids are successful has kids who are either bartenders or in food service or in app development or some type of advanced computer marketing or software development. As for brick and mortar jobs, buying a house, a new car, all that stuff, well, if you're on either coast or expect to live in the world pre-Obama, or even pre-WBush, you're hallucinating.
Change will come; either through a socialist or a libertarian. No matter what happens, those born AFTER '65 will be screwed. Sorry. Look in Belize and invest in Rolexes or something.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Screw the baby boomers. My kids shouldn't have to pay for their childish fantasy land. America's worst generation got us into this mess. Let them deal with it. Default and re-structure. If they have to work as door greeters at Wal Mart until they die, so be it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
First, Hith 1956; Stick It! Second, a Simple Solution to the unfunded liabilities: There are 76 million Oldsters at issue. Why not just kill us all,(as mercifully as is cost effective), and thus repudiate the obligation, without having to go on record as deadbeats? We are drags on the economy and, if y'all are correct,(you are not), only chance collocations of subatomic particles; without meaning or value. Drown grandma, shoot grandpa, divert their goodies to the more deserving; the non english speaking, illegal alien frequent voters who keep the sociopathic cabal in power at present. They alone can provide a chaotic environment and an infinite selection of evil opportunities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my friend's mother makes $79 hourly on the computer. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her check was $15237 just working on the computer for a few hours. try this out.......WWW.Rush64.COM
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
how about going to www.usadebtclock.com and seeing that we have already passed the debt ceiling, but for some reason nobody wants to report on this and it is a game to say that the debt clock we normally see hasn't changed in what 3 months?

That is wrong and I want to know who is responsible for this fiscal fraud?????????????????
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Check and see that about 2/3 of it is "owed" to other government agencies, on which we pay interest to the Fed; a collocation of international bankers. END THE fED AND REPUDIATE THE DEBT. PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM EVER BORROWING ANOTHER NICKEL. Cut the size of government drastically, perhaps 80%. Dport all illegals, Execute all felons.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
who will remain in the US when the collapse occurs?
Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall St move to Chile, China?
those with money will leave, those without will stay and there is no hope because of a lifetime of failure by our political class, and the American people who voted for them.
historians will shake their heads over the American collapse of the 21st century.
hope they are using styluses on computers and not clay.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reality is what it is. However factor in the extended healthy life expectancy of older people and I seriously doubt most will retire at 65. I personally plan to work until 75 or 80. 2 of my grandparents lived into their 90's, and 1 died at 103. I'm guessing many other people will continue to work. So the situation, while dire, is not yet a complete apocalypse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i suspect you a intelligent and don't lift a lot at work.
what about the average guy?
there's a reason steel and textile mills moved overseas. but the physical jobs continue and there will be an incredible number of people who will quit at 65 because they are worn out.
it comes down to productivity. will you produce so much more than you need at 75 to cover those that don't produce at age 75?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...these mounting “unfunded” obligations can no longer be ignored.

Never assume that Washington "can't" ignore a warning sign.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is amusing to read uninformed angry protests. But not one has a positive contribution. What i see is divisiveness and blaming. There are solutions to all these problems. But they require forward thinking. Many more job categories will be lost in the years to come. the leadership and academics are behind the times. The world is changing rapidly and either we learn to surf the wave or drown.
1st step is a reform in taxes. The tax problem comes about by poor taxation codes,laws,rules. 2nd it funding education which we will all need to use in a rapidly changing future. 3rd health care complete with high pay for providers. 4th government finances explained and economics taught in all schools. Most people do not have time to learn all the economics that is necessary to understand what is truly going on.
That presents a problem. The total picture is hidden. We people need and deserve to know all the details. Too much is hidden from us. These are the times of small print that is vital to the progress on our people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is one Canadian who views any debt from any level of US government to be less than what is written on the paper.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was born in '63, my wife in '64. We are NOT boomers. They stole our birth years as they got into government and academic positions. When I looked in the encyclopedia in fifth grade, it said Baby Boom, '46-'60.
We did not get:
Cheap gas
Cheap housing
Cheap/free tuition.
BS jobs trading worthless junk on "The Street"
And other assorted Boomer freebies.
So when they rope us into their largess, they're once again proving what a generation of pigs they are. They do what they want. They did Woodstock, then they ran out of buck, did Wall Street, decided to have kids and jacked up the price of housing, making it into a commodity, rather than a necessity. Now they're all "disabled" or recreating for the next 30 or 40 years. Honestly, we're all sick of them.
But what's owed is owed. So what we need to do is admit that this generation of pigs wrecked us, and make a bright line, now.
My children, in their 20s are already screwed. They are planning on renting, living like refugees and waiting for us to die. And that's what I told them to do. No matter who's elected, it won't work. So my advice to them is to buy tangible assets, the most tangible being, happiness. They'll never be able to tax you for being close to work, or enjoying your job, or flexible hours. And of course, so long as there is cash, that's king.
Everyone I know with kids in their 20s in the NYC metro area whose kids are successful has kids who are either bartenders or in food service or in app development or some type of advanced computer marketing or software development. As for brick and mortar jobs, buying a house, a new car, all that stuff, well, if you're on either coast or expect to live in the world pre-Obama, or even pre-WBush, you're hallucinating.
Change will come; either through a socialist or a libertarian. No matter what happens, those born AFTER '65 will be screwed. Sorry. Look in Belize and invest in Rolexes or something.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remember a long piece in Canada that ran in the Sun newspapers about "tweeners". I too was born in 1963, and frankly like you, EMSreporter, I agree that the Yuppies screwed it up for everyone.

The number of assets that are at equilibrium value - well, good luck in trying to find them. It seems that everything is inflated, and, well, egos will be crushed as well as asset values when they drop to equilibrium from peak.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All