Shocker: Federal government’s fiscal deterioration almost 5 times official deficit

posted at 8:01 pm on March 5, 2014 by Dustin Siggins

In Fiscal Year 2013, the official federal deficit was $680 billion. Liberals have cheered this drop while subsequently ignoring how this deficit is both larger than all of Bush’s pre-recession deficits and is expected to grow dramatically over the next several decades.

However, the Treasury Department’s annual report on the finances of the U.S. federal government shows that not only is $680 billion an incomplete measure of the federal government’s finances, it’s off by nearly a factor of five.

From Just Facts Daily:

The U.S. Treasury has just released its annual “Financial Report of the United States Government,” which provides an account of the federal government’s finances using accounting standards like those that the government requires of large corporations. Because the federal budget is not bound by these standards, it does not have to account for all of its fiscal obligations.

For example, the Treasury report reveals that the federal government owes $6.5 trillion in retirement and health benefits to federal employees and veterans. This legal responsibility amounts to $53,000 for every household in the United States, but none of these liabilities are reflected in the 2013 budget deficit or national debt.

….

During the federal government’s 2013 fiscal year, the official federal deficit was $680 billion, but this comprehensive accounting reveals that the federal government’s fiscal position deteriorated by $3.3 trillion or an average of $27,000 for every household in the U.S.

There are two basic ways the federal government calculates its obligations. The first does not account for the obligations of Social Security, Medicare, and other programs in the same way the federal government requires of private corporations.

The method the Treasury report uses is far more complete. It includes long-term obligations and liabilites unaccounted for in the deficit and debt measurements.

In this year’s report, Treasury says the government should initiate deficit reduction measures (cuts and/or tax increases) equivalent to 1.7 percent of GDP every year for 75 years. This means, just in 2014, Treasury is recommending a cut in deficits of approximately $274 billion just to prevent a fiscal crisis – and these cuts will grow in size every year for the time period Treasury examined. Waiting 10 or 20 years makes things even worse.

And even these cuts are grossly undersized. First, this would still leave America’s publicly held debt-to-GDP ratio the same as it was in 2013, which the Congressional Budget Office has said is problematic.

Additionally, Treasury assumes in its report that the Affordable Care Act will reduce long-term health care costs. And, finally, these cuts are recommended to reduce “primary” deficits, those that do not include the enormous interest payments the federal government is expected to incur.

In short, not only is the federal government in financial trouble, it’s in worse shape than we ever realized. After compiling all of the data in the Treasury Report, Just Facts found that the full obligations of the U.S. federal government total $71 trillion, or $580,000 per household.

Dustin Siggins is the Washington, D.C. Correspondent for Lifesitenews.com and formerly the primary blogger with Tea Party Patriots. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book, Bankrupt Legacy: The Future of the Debt-Paying Generation. His work has been published by numerous online and print publications, including USA Today, Roll Call, Hot Air, Huffington Post, Mediaite, and First Things.

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Actually even that estimate is too low. Our unfunded liabilities plus debt is already north of $100 trillion.

Collapse is inevitable because THAT MUCH MONEY DOES NOT EXIST!!!

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:03 PM

In short, not only is the federal government in financial trouble, it’s in worse shape than we ever realized. After compiling all of the data in the Treasury Report, Just Facts found that the full obligations of the U.S. federal government total $71 trillion, or $580,000 per household.

Yippee!!

Bitter Clinger on March 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM

That picture looks like Pippi LongStockings!!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 5, 2014 at 8:06 PM

https://twitter.com/markknoller

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller Mar 4

Budget shows FY’15 deficit of $546-billion is 3.1% of GDP; National Debt at $18.7-trillion will be 102% of GDP.
=====================================

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller Mar 4

New budget projects $564-billion deficit in 2015 – lowest since 2008. But National Debt will increase $820-billion to $18.7-triillion.
Expand

canopfor on March 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Everyone understands that our actual debt will never be repaid, and these future obligations will never be paid in full to anyone, right? The Federal Government has zero intention of ever paying off the debt or in even making a slight dent in it. Inflate the debt away or default are the only options left.

Even assuming we somehow could pay off the debt in the next 20 years, Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare obligations alone will crush us soon.

Just whistling past the graveyard at this point.

Johnnyreb on March 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

I thought Obama was paying for this…

Out of his stash….

Electrongod on March 5, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Actually even that estimate is too low. Our unfunded liabilities plus debt is already north of $100 trillion.

Collapse is inevitable because THAT MUCH MONEY DOES NOT EXIST!!!

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:03 PM

The liabilities exceed the gross domestic product of the entire planet.

sharrukin on March 5, 2014 at 8:17 PM

No problem, the gold-crapping Unicorns will simply be fed an extra load of vitamins every day to increase their output.

Bishop on March 5, 2014 at 8:18 PM

♫ Zimbabwe… whoa-ohhhhhhhh…

Zimbabwe oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhhh ♫

“Hey, Gallup! This is Obama… cook me up some fake poll numbers, quick.”

(inaudible)

“Yeah, the usual, thanks….”

viking01 on March 5, 2014 at 8:21 PM

We’re gonna need a lot more of those trillion-dollar platinum coins minted and pronto.

Bitter Clinger on March 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

No problem, the gold-crapping Unicorns will simply be fed an extra load of vitamins every day to increase their output.

Bishop on March 5, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Or raise taxes on the 1% to ONE TRILLION PERCENT :)

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:23 PM

The liabilities exceed the gross domestic product of the entire planet.

sharrukin on March 5, 2014 at 8:17 PM

The liabilities exceed the GDP of a whole FLUCKING GALACTIC EMPIRE!

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Shorter version: It’s all lies, and we’re good and truly fscked.

bofh on March 5, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Soap box

Ballot box

Bullet box

Exninja on March 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Soap box

Ballot box

Bullet box

Exninja on March 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

That is the order you are to use them in.

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:28 PM

…California accounting!

KOOLAID2 on March 5, 2014 at 8:28 PM

No sweat, just open the borders, legalize all drugs, outlaw heterosexual marriage, electric cars for everyone and a windmill in every subsidized yard, outlaw guns and meat, outlaw the laws of supply and demand, open the prisons of all those victims, turn all white males over the age of accountability to Soylent Green, and provide every person (except white males, who be labeled as ‘nonpersons’) with a wheelbarrow to haul all the Weimer dollars to the nearest breadline…

vnvet on March 5, 2014 at 8:29 PM

With apologies to Roy Scheider:

“You’re gonna need a bigger printing press!”

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Don’t look at me, I voted for the very bright business guy.

claudius on March 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM

After compiling all of the data in the Treasury Report, Just Facts found that the full obligations of the U.S. federal government total $71 trillion, or $580,000 per household.

Well thank goodness we are past our austerity period. Just think how bad this would be otherwise! Maybe we could bitcoin our way to financial freedom.

ghostwalker1 on March 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

You Think The Deficit Is Bad Federal Unfunded Liabilities Exceed 127 Trillion

sharrukin on March 5, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Who cares!

OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!OBAMA! OBAMA!

Murphy9 on March 5, 2014 at 9:00 PM

$580,000 per household.

Then the government is in real trouble. I don’t have it!

GarandFan on March 5, 2014 at 9:01 PM

When currency is created out of thin air, what does it matter that the government runs deficits? They can print whatever they need.

Another Libertarian on March 5, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Soap box

Ballot box

Bullet box

Exninja on March 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Soap box – Five years and counting for conservatives waving red flags has achieved MSM ignoring and/or marginalizing. LIVs remain clueless.

Ballot box – Between the election follies, insane arguments against voter ID and our alleged two party system (with the Republicans and Democrats being two sides of the same coin which is especially frustrating since the Dems have effectively neutered the GOP), pardon me if I don’t hold much hope for this option.

Working our way down to toos and fews.

ghostwalker1 on March 5, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Additionally, Treasury assumes in its report that the Affordable Care Act will reduce long-term health care costs.

Obamacare will reduce long-term health care costs by bending the life expectancy curve down.

Unable to see your doctor? That’s not a bug. It’s a feature!

wren on March 5, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Obamacare will reduce long-term health care costs by bending the life expectancy curve down.

Unable to see your doctor? That’s not a bug. It’s a feature!

wren on March 5, 2014 at 9:16 PM

The Obamacare plan is for for you to DIE QUICKLY, right?

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:19 PM

I firmly believe that the liberals are not concerned about the debt at all because they fully intend on massive wealth seizures from the very wealthy when we have our debt crisis. They will already have eliminated the middle class so they will say “We can take their money or cut your entitlements?” What option do you think that the voters will take?

rmkdbq on March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

I firmly believe that the liberals are not concerned about the debt at all because they fully intend on massive wealth seizures from the very wealthy when we have our debt crisis. They will already have eliminated the middle class so they will say “We can take their money or cut your entitlements?” What option do you think that the voters will take?

rmkdbq on March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

200+ million privately owned firearms say that Revolution will happen long before THAT point…

ConstantineXI on March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

it’s in worse shape than we ever realized

Some of us have been aware of this for years.

burt on March 5, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Thanks, Dustin. A post with real numbers to crunch!

kcewa on March 5, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I’m still waiting for some stupid, math-challenged Progressive to explain exactly what tax rates will be needed to cover this. 100% isn’t enough, but I’m sure there’s at least a few dumb Progressives who view that number as too low.

Oh and don’t forget – Obama’s first Budget was entitled “The Era of Responsibility” …. no foolin!

Pelosi Schmelosi on March 5, 2014 at 9:46 PM

At this point, what difference does it make?

May as well just put the whole country on the table and split those tens.

Oxymoron on March 5, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Hmmph. Real numbers, a financial death spiral that no one other than us will pay any attention to, much less flabble about.

Scroomed.

Who is John Galt on March 5, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Don’t look at me, I voted for the very bright business guy.

Me too…….MSNBC=But he is an evil rich white guy!

Indianatime on March 5, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Don’t look at me, I voted for the very bright business guy.

claudius on March 5, 2014 at 8:32 PM

+1

talkingpoints on March 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I firmly believe that the liberals are not concerned about the debt at all because they fully intend on massive wealth seizures from the very wealthy when we have our debt crisis. They will already have eliminated the middle class so they will say “We can take their money or cut your entitlements?” What option do you think that the voters will take?

rmkdbq on March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

the top 1% don’t have enough wealth to make a dent in those numbers.

This only ends as a free for all.

WryTrvllr on March 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I firmly believe that the liberals are not concerned about the debt at all because they fully intend on massive wealth seizures from the very wealthy when we have our debt crisis. They will already have eliminated the middle class so they will say “We can take their money or cut your entitlements?” What option do you think that the voters will take?

rmkdbq on March 5, 2014 at 9:20 PM

the top 1% don’t have enough wealth to make a dent in those numbers.

This only ends as a free for all.

WryTrvllr on March 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Private retirement plans of the middle class and the 1% certainly do.

slickwillie2001 on March 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Private retirement plans of the middle class and the 1% certainly do.

slickwillie2001 on March 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

As of 2012 (last year I could find figures for) there is about 19.4 trillion in all retirement funds.

That’s not going to cover the amount we owe.

Not even close.

trigon on March 6, 2014 at 1:13 AM

The US Debt has increased $715 billion in the first 5 months of FY 2014. As of 2/28/14 = $17.463 Trillion.

Dasher on March 6, 2014 at 1:16 AM

Private retirement plans of the middle class and the 1% certainly do.

slickwillie2001 on March 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Forbes 2013 top 400 list has the aggregate net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans at 2.02 trillion dollars.

As of October 2013, total financial assets of the United States were estimated to be 131 trillion dollars. So, if you could liquidate everything belonging to everybody, at top dollar, you could probably meet our obligations. That would be impossible in a practical sense.

Of course, you’d have 330 million people with nothing at all in a nation that had sold absolutely everything. Probably to people that wouldn’t have our best interests at heart.

Things are definitely looking up!

trigon on March 6, 2014 at 1:32 AM

Erm…

Is no one going to point out that… it appears he switched digits. Total deficit is 17 Trillion, not 71 trillion. That would make it $142K per household, not $580K.

… am I right?

Alexander on March 6, 2014 at 1:49 AM

Its a confidence game. Once confidence in the U.S. dollar is lost, the whole thing ends up in flames. The only saving grace so far is that the U.S. dollar appears to be the best of the worst possible choices (vis a vis other fiat currencies). Everything is linked together, which means that once it goes down, everyone is going to go down.

Right now, we (and the rest of the world) are still in the stage where we’re all pretending that it doesn’t have to go down.

Revenant on March 6, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Not to give Obama any passes but our liabilities existed long before him. The additional liabilities under him are just a drop in the bucket compared to the real damage he’s done.

Obama has normalized living off the Gov’t teat. and removed any stigma associated with it. What may not have happened during my lifetime are almost certainly going to happen now long before I die. He’s not spending our “children’s” money any longer, he’s spending ours.

moo on March 6, 2014 at 8:04 AM

So, we know it is going to collapse. Progressives know it is going to collapse. THEY have a post collapse plan.

tdarrington on March 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Well, since a big part of that debt is owed to the Fed, which is technically us, we can just highlight that cell on the Federal Excel spreadsheet and hit delete…right? /sarc

tdarrington on March 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

This can’t possibly be one nation’s debt. Nah, it’s gotta be a number for something bigger. I dunno, like maybe the Andromeda Galactic Federation or something. Yeah, that’s it. This is the total debt owed by the peoples of the Andromeda Galactic Federation. Expansion throughout the Crab Nebularian Quartile and confiscation of that civlization’s GDP should help to pay down this debt.

brentspolemics on March 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

This can’t possibly be one nation’s debt. Nah, it’s gotta be a number for something bigger. I dunno, like maybe the Andromeda Galactic Federation or something. Yeah, that’s it. This is the total debt owed by the peoples of the Andromeda Galactic Federation. Expansion throughout the Crab Nebularian Quartile and confiscation of that civlization’s GDP should help to pay down this debt.

brentspolemics on March 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

All those Quatloos….

trigon on March 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

The reported 2013 deficit was actually only the deficit for about 10 months. The Fed had frozen the total debt until the debt ceiling was raised in late October. About a third of a trillion in debt was then added in a single day, most of which should have been attributed to 2013. If you subtract the total debt on 11/2012 from the total on 11/2013, you will see that the approximate deficit for 2013 was actually about 890 billion.

The good news, politically speaking, is that the 2014 deficit will be for a 14 month period and will be released right before the election.

Laurence on March 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

The good news, politically speaking, is that the 2014 deficit will be for a 14 month period and will be released right before the election.

Laurence on March 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

The fiscal year did not change because of the shutdown or the frozen deficit. So FY 2014 will still end on Sept 30, and began on Oct 1, 2013. However you are correct about the deficits of 2013 being fudged because of the delay in opening up the debt limit.

It is unfortunate that the debt limit is now not a dollar limit but a date limit. As of Feb 28 the debt has increased by $715 billion, with seven months to go in the FY.

Dasher on March 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The Treasury’s computations are clearly racist.

jukin3 on March 6, 2014 at 11:38 AM

For example, the Treasury report reveals that the federal government owes $6.5 trillion in retirement and health benefits to federal employees and veterans. This legal responsibility amounts to $53,000 for every household in the United States, but none of these liabilities are reflected in the 2013 budget deficit or national debt.

The only answer to this problem is an urgent hiring freeze right now, and caps on individual government pensions going forward. Even our veterans are given unaffordable phony promises. Unless you are disabled, no veteran should be able to tap into the money meant for their elder years until they are at least 65. The government cannot have different ages for retirement for some people, and yet tell Social Security recipients they should wait until they are 69 and a half, which is coming.

I am not saying you cannot retire at 55, but if you show that you are working, you are not retired. And that means working under the table is not allowed either. The penalty for early retirement has to be a big one, based on individual contributions.

These pensions were not intended to pay large sums for 50 years to some Americans, no matter how grateful we might be. The recent decrease in the COLA for military upset people on our side, however, that is what is required across all the brances of the service, with the promise that if you forgo until 65/70 the rules should look a lot like Social Security, and allow service members to put money away tax free that they can access at 59-and-a-half.

The only way to stop explosive pension growth that is formula based on the amount of money you make while you are working, is to stop increasing these salaries while people are working and bring them more in line with the private sector. Because they have been “promised.” But they have not been promised future salary growth beyond the means of taxpaying Americans who don’t get a magic pension. A magic pension is any one, where the individual puts in contributions for ten years at their lowest income, and gets an average of their HIGHEST years pay to compute their pension. If you put in when you made $25K, you did not put in enough for that big pension.

And I would suggest pensions for government and veterans be a cash amount somewhere between the value for Social Security as if they paid in/or what they paid, and a cap of $35K per year for any government employee…including senators, congressmen and The President. Bill Clinton has shown us that a young president can be a billionaire before he is 60, just by talking about being president or writing a book.

Fleuries on March 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The fiscal year did not change because of the shutdown or the frozen deficit. So FY 2014 will still end on Sept 30, and began on Oct 1, 2013.
Dasher on March 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The fiscal year remains the same, but the amount of deficit reported in 2013 was understated because of accounting tricks used to get around the debt ceiling. After staying almost constant for months at 16.75 trillion, the debt increased on 10/17/2013 by almost 330 billion. Absent additional accounting tricks, the total deficit reported for 2014 should include the amount under-reported in 2013.

I poorly expressed this idea by saying the deficit reported for 2013 was actually for a 10 month period while the deficit for 2014 will be for a 14 month period.

There is an interesting link The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It that allows you to look up the amount of debt at the close of any business day.

Laurence on March 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM