Federal liabilities far exceed federal debt

Even if you aren’t an accountant, chances are you’ve heard the term GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The U.S. Government is not required to follow GAAP and as such, it turns out the federal debt is dwarfed by actual federal liabilities.

Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.

A U.S. household’s median income is $49,445, the Census reports.

The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.

The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.

If it’s true something that can’t continue forever, won’t, how will things work out and who will be left holding the bag when the music stops?

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About Professor Mockumental

I enjoy almost all forms of parody, buffoonery, and general high-jinks. Satire has shown itself to be an essential societal need; I therefore humbly offer my services in such a manner. I enjoy mocking the usual suspects at the New York Times (Charles Blows, Moron Dowd, and the earth is flat guy) and Washington Post (Dana Milkbag, E.D. Dijon, and David Ignoramus). There are many others as well, but sadly, there are always too many targets and too little time.

Posted on May 24, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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