Friday, May 15, 2009

Yikes! 'Real federal debt' passes $200K per capita

From the inbox, pretty shocking stuff:

Real Federal Debt Passes $200,000 Per Capita For The First Time

For the first time in a generation, Americans have looked at their personal balance sheets and what they see has convinced them to start saving again. They are putting off purchases, paying down their credit cards and even putting money in the bank. At the same time however, the Federal Government has vastly increased its spending and consumption, quickly running up the debt every American will have to confront.

Federal debt has been growing much faster than the economy according to Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of The Institute for Truth in Accounting. The organization sponsors the web site which estimates the nation's total obligations. "The nation's "official debt" is more than $11 trillion but the "real" national debt -- which includes promises of Social Security, Medicare and other social insurance promises -- has just crossed $61 trillion. That works out to a staggering $200,000 for every one of America's 305 million residents."

"Even the official debt seems to be growing faster than we can count it," Weinberg said. Since the day George Bush was inaugurated in January 2001 until the end of his second term, the official national debt grew to $10.6 trillion from $5.7 trillion, a compound annual growth rate of more than 8%. The Treasury's official accounting also reveals that another $612 billion in federal debt has accumulated in the 100 days since President Obama's inauguration.That represents new debt of more than $6,000 for every household in America.

The Institute's chairman, Roger Nelson, expressed his concerns. "This extraordinarily rising debt cannot continue. Rising rates on treasury securities show our biggest international creditors are beginning to have concerns about our ability to repay these debts and make good on the promises of benefits we've made to ourselves. They understand that our debt is not what Washington says officially rather, it's what benefits Americans expect of their government. Part of the Institute's mission is to make sure the average American understands the existence and implications of owing $61 trillion."

Estimates for federal spending from the administration and from the Congressional Budget Office principally agree that deficit will continue for many years to come. "The official debt will nearly double in the next eight years and no one has yet predicted the effect of enacting programs like nationalized health care or the bail-out of politically-connected industries," Nelson added. "We call on the Congress to make sure they have accurately calculated the real costs of any of these initiatives before approving them."

Please visit to see the nation's total debt being counted. We invite you to install our spinning debt counter on your site with our compliments!

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