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Is the US national debt actually *gulp* $200 Trillion?

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posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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WARNING: BEFORE READING, SECURE CLEAN UNDERWEAR.





A prominent economist at from Boston University is saying that the United States is bankrupt and that our REAL debt is not the measly $13 Trillion they have been telling us about, it is really more in the neighborhood of $200 Trillion.



“The US is bankrupt” – American scholar

That's according to a prominent U.S. economist, Laurence Kotlikoff, who has come up with some startling figures claiming America's national debt is $200 trillion, far greater than the official figure of $13 trillion.


RT

He says that the government has been using accounting gimmicks to fool us into thinking that we are in much better financial shape than is really the case. Guess that explains why Obama appointed Franklin Raines as his financial advisor; he has experience with this sort of thing from his years at Fannie Mae.



U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It: Laurence Kotlikoff

"Unofficial’ Liabilities

Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion, which is more than 15 times the official debt. This gargantuan discrepancy between our “official” debt and our actual net indebtedness isn’t surprising. It reflects what economists call the labeling problem. Congress has been very careful over the years to label most of its liabilities “unofficial” to keep them off the books and far in the future.

Businessweek



If this economist's estimates are even close to being true, that leaves only one last thing to say:



[size=10]AAAAAARRRRGGGHH!!

[edit on 8/13/10 by FortAnthem]




posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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Your title should have included "WARNING: BEFORE READING, SECURE CLEAN UNDERWEAR."

If this is true, I think we are heading for war reeeaaaaal soon. What do nations do in times of economic hardship? Start wars...

[edit on 13-8-2010 by SubPop79]



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by SubPop79
 


I don't think that would fit in the title, so I changed the beginning of the thread to include your warning.




posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 05:40 PM
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YIKES!!!

I am not sure how true this is but I wouldn't be surprised... Scary stuff if it's true.



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
reply to post by SubPop79
 


I don't think that would fit in the title, so I changed the beginning of the thread to include your warning.



HAHA! I'm flattered.

But anyway, don't we owe most of our debt to China? I bet they are not too happy about this if that is the case.

Where did this money go if this is true?



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 06:01 PM
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Well, wede need to analyze and see this guys mathemtical handywork, then draw conclusions. However, i wonder if the $700 billion bailout a year or 2 ago has someting to do with this $200 trillion. becasue if so..Bernenke, and EVERYONE at the federal reserve is responsable for this happening. hell bernenke admitted to turning the fedeeral money machine on, printing $trillion in much needed bailout money without telling anyone!
thier taking as much as they can before leaving this country somewhere else. thats what it seems like..and when their gone, so will our economy and happiness of living. bunch of thugs liek al copone taking and leaving violence in their departure



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 06:07 PM
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This is not something exclusive to the USA...

The public sector in the UK has got a BIG wake up call coming in the fact that the UK WILL BE 'UNABLE' to pay for the pensions and benefits and allowances that most public sector workers Believe and expect they are entitled too....

Most people are blind or blinkered or just do not want to accept this reality...

It's going too get very messy very soon I think !!

Regards

PurpleDOG UK



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 06:14 PM
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Wow, talk about fear mongering.

By the way, you wont be able to find the numbers to check this, as it is based on the percieved market in the future.

"Simple. We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Yes, our economy will be bigger in 20 years, but not big enough to handle this size load year after year."

Source

Bolded by me.

This article makes two assumptions in this one paragraph.

First, there is no reasonable way of knowing how many baby boomers will be collecting in the future, unless you can acturately gauge how many will die, and how many will be self sufficient.

Second, you have no way of accurately gauging where the US market, specifically its size, wil be.

So, the fiscal gap could be much smaller....or much larger
.

Have fun speculating.

Edit to add:

This is a problem to every western nation, some eastern aswell.

Ironically this problem could be solved by allowing large numbers of Mexican immigrants into the US. They have larger families and are generally younger...so they can prop all of us up until we don't need it anymore. Then it will be their problem
.

[edit on 13-8-2010 by peck420]



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 06:48 PM
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You should take a look at this :-


www.usdebtclock.org...

The number of interest is in the middle - US total debt.



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


This is something I've put a lot of research into because I do want to know as best I can when governments around the world will begin collapsing.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there is a big difference between debts and liabilities. All governments I know of use cash accounting, so for them debts are much more obvious than liabilities. Cash accounting basically means you keep track of what is happening with your cash carefully while accrual accounting means you are more concerned with total liabilities including things like pension plans for your employees. Liabilities additionally include basically money you owe without being formal loans. In other words, debts are generally more formal loans while liabilities are everything owed.

One form of liability is bond debts. Bonds are basically official loans by the government funded by things like 401k retirement accounts. When you go to www.UsDebtClock.org... to find out how amazingly fast our country is death spiraling, you can see US federal debt at the top-left of the page in big bold red lettering. You can also see the total debts including local & state by going to www.usgovernmentspending.com... which lists current total US debts at about 16 trillion.

However, there are other forms of liabilities. When we pay social security, the government spends that money and plans on paying that back later without specifically having taken out a loan. That is a liability that would be tracked if the US were under an accrual accounting system.

If you visit www.shadowstats.com... you can get a better idea of the financial system in the US. Even though debts went up by about 2 trillion in 2009, liabilities went up $4.1 trillion to $71 trillion by the Shadowstats estimate. Of course there are several different estimates of the actual figures.

I'm not sure where I'd get that data for state & local but if the same ratio of bond debts to total liabilities applies, then total state obligations would be something like $36 trillion.

This would be total government liabilities of 107 trillion. I've heard estimates of $40 to $110 trillion. I've never heard an estimate of $200 trillion. Most likely the $200 trillion figure is said for propaganda purposes. But the general idea is correct. On a GAAP basis, the US governments including federal & local owe a lot of money.

For example, San Francisco city is getting crushed because of pension plans for city workers. It isn't a figure included in their official debt load. Yet they are basically going to default because of pension plans. Oh, and the UK is about to get crushed because of pension plans too. There is a worst case scenario in my mind where the UK financially topples over in 2012 due to excessive liabilities and the rest of the 1st world, immersed in oceans of debt, start to topple like dominoes. There are so many countries in terrible shape it could be quite a disaster.

[edit on 13-8-2010 by truthquest]



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 07:29 PM
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Ok that's truly scary if it's true. However, I'm sure this wont change anything and the government will keep spending and spending and spending.

Sort of like an Energizer Bunny, if it could spend money...


Although, if this is true, it could add weight to some 'predictions' that TPTB will orchestrate a collapse of the dollar.

Who knows...

All the best,
T



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by truthquest
 



This would be total government liabilities of 107 trillion. I've heard estimates of $40 to $110 trillion. I've never heard an estimate of $200 trillion.


[sarcasm] Oh, thank heaven! Only $107 Trillion, that's about half what that crazy economist said.

I feel much better now.
[sarcasm]


Seriously though, thanks for that awesome, informative post.


I still feel like we're screwed though.



posted on Aug, 13 2010 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by Aristophrenia
You should take a look at this :-


www.usdebtclock.org...

The number of interest is in the middle - US total debt.


Actually, if you take the "official" national debt, the US Total Debt, and the US Unfunded Liabilities figures and add them together, you get $13T+$54T+$110T = $177 Trillion... very close to the $200T mentioned in the OP and likely on the right track as to where the author's math & figures came from.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by burdman30ott6

Originally posted by Aristophrenia
You should take a look at this :-


www.usdebtclock.org...

The number of interest is in the middle - US total debt.


Actually, if you take the "official" national debt, the US Total Debt, and the US Unfunded Liabilities figures and add them together, you get $13T+$54T+$110T = $177 Trillion... very close to the $200T mentioned in the OP and likely on the right track as to where the author's math & figures came from.


I wish it was more clear where the 54 trillion "total US debt" is derived from. I can't help but suspect that its simply a second estimate of unfunded liabilities and therefore certain numbers are being double-counted.



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by SubPop79
 

uh... we are already in a couple wars.. did you maybe mean more wars?



posted on Aug, 14 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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I thought it was a bit higher than that. If we get another printing press stimulus we could end up at 400 trillion. Gravity never fails and will catch up very soon. They think we dont know how to add, see GDP and calculate 3Q reports. We are screwed. I hope China can get out of this funk or we all go down!



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem
A prominent economist at from Boston University is saying that the United States is bankrupt and that our REAL debt is not the measly $13 Trillion they have been telling us about, it is really more in the neighborhood of $200 Trillion.


I learned about this person Laurence J. Kotlikoff by watching a video that was posted on Max Keiser's website, and I thought to myself that this is the accurate way of looking at the U.S. debt. Instead of saying "national debt" we should say "fiscal debt," to include "unfunded liabilities" that are real: Social Security and Medicare.

It was also pointed out in this video that the real unemployment rate is 22%.

The guest who points this out is Martin Hennecke:




posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 06:41 AM
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In all honesty I ask...

Does any of this really matter on a personal level to any of you?
Probably not.
Here's why:
You can't do anything about it.
If you think that the elections will change any of this, you're wrong.
In every aspect of this debt ratio is an obscene amount of money that we will never pay off.
First off, we should never have to pay it off.
Secondly, we should never be thinking this is OUR debt!!!
We, the people, never physically "ok'ed" this debt.
I don't remember telling anyone it's 'ok' to spend all this money. Do you??
Our 'elected officials' have brought this upon us. You can thank them (both sides).
The people were suckered into thinking that spending money was a good thing to help this nation.
The same people that promised the world to us, just to get elected, and then spend more of our money.
So just keep putting money in your 401k, keep the 'economy' moving by buying a new car, or home...
Keep striving to watch as much TV as possible in order to learn what it takes to 'make it', in the USA.
Yeah! That's exactly what we need to worry about! [facepalm]

Personally, I refuse to think about these things any longer.
We know personally about this ultimate agenda, as the writing is on the wall...in neon lettering with an arrow.
It's no longer about if you can see this writing.
It's what your going to do when it comes crashing down.
No more 'fear-mongering'. (I love how MSM came up with that slogan, and we use it religiously)
No more threads about how big our nations debt really is.
Just try to be happy and get out of debt yourself. Live simple and honestly.
Stop living the way the TV tells you to.

There is a reason for all this.
You (our gov't) don't hide things from someone (the public) without reason.


Ok. I'm done preaching now.





posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 06:50 AM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


The Federal government only post the numbers of the national debt the numbers of the real indebtedness of American governments at the federal, state, and local levels, are hidden from public view to avoid chaos, because governments don’t count up their liabilities the same way businesses do.

So yes the real debt is well in the trillions of trillions of dollars and more.



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by havok
Personally, I refuse to think about these things any longer.


I can relate to this.

It seems inevitable that we're headed for a breakdown of society to be followed by a new world that will make the banksters happy.

I like the Monetary Reform Act that is the subject of another thread. That would fix our problem. But getting this enacted seems very unlikely. Our system is corrupt to the core.

I'm looking for inspiration from someone out there. Anyone got any ideas?




edit on 9/10/2010 by Mary Rose because: (no reason given)




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