Which is greater? The U.S. government’s mountain of debt or the entire net worth of all U.S. citizens?
For the first time in our history, it’s the former.
As of the end of September, the U.S. government held “$56.4 trillion in debts, liabilities and unfunded promises for Medicare and Social Security,” said research published this week by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The number comes directly from the Treasury release we harped on Wednesday.
And our collective net worth? $56.5 trillion, as calculated by the Fed at the end of September as well.
“Given more recent developments, it's clear that America now owes more than its citizens are worth," said PGP Foundation president and protagonist of I.O.U.S.A. David Walker. "Passing this shocking milestone highlights the need for President-elect Obama and the next Congress not only to turn the economy around and boost consumer confidence, but to put a process in place that will lead to tough choices getting made to strengthen the government's financial condition once the economy begins growing again."
19 December 2008