Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined. Unfunded promises made for Medicare, Social Security and federal retirement programs account for 85% of taxpayer liabilities.
The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Board, which sets federal accounting standards, is considering requiring the government to adopt accounting rules similar to those for corporations. The change would move Social Security and Medicare onto the government's income statement and balance sheet, instead of keeping them separate.
The White House and the Congressional Budget Office oppose the change, arguing that the programs are not true liabilities because government can cancel or cut them.
And cut they will. I've said before that one of my disappointments in the Bush years is that you had a Republican Congress and President and yet nothing could be done about this problem. Nothing will be done, and my generation will be left holding the bag. When I am an old man there will be tens or hundreds of thousands of people my age who are functionally homeless. Having lots of kids is beginning to sound like a good idea.