What is your share of government debt?

What is your share of government debt?

It’s that time of year when we review the impact of government debt on individual taxpayers. It is important to remember who is in trouble for reckless government overspending.

When we hear politicians make campaign promises, they seem to be spending their money. But the government doesn’t have any money, so the only way they can implement their extravagant ideas is by taxing their citizens and companies, because that’s their only source of income.

What’s really troubling is that when the United States government (and most others) plan their budget for the current fiscal year, they budget to spend more than they knew they were going to get in tax revenue. In fact, since 1970, the United States has balanced its budget only four times. France has not had a balanced budget since 1974.

When governments overspend, they need to finance this deficit by issuing bonds. As the debt continues to rise, more and more of the budget goes into paying the interest on these bonds. Last year, the US government spent more than $250 billion on interest-only payments to service the federal debt. They have spent over $430 billion if we include state and local government (SLG) securities.

In every election, candidates claim they won’t add debt, but with the exception of four years in the past 45 years, every year the US government adds significantly to debt. During Obama’s eight years in office, US debt exploded from nearly $10 trillion to $19.86 trillion.

Nearly $20 trillion is the official debt figure, but there is also a huge amount of “unfunded liabilities.” Future liabilities such as Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Affairs, and federal employee benefits are not funded. These “unfunded liabilities” total more than $100 trillion.

Here are the current figures for US debt:

1. The official debt of the United States = $19.86 trillion
Debt per citizen = $61,133
Debt per taxpayer = $166,240

2. Total unfunded liabilities = $104 trillion
– Liability for each citizen = $320,749
Liability per taxpayer = $872,205

Add all of that up and each taxpayer’s share of the national debt, and the “Unfunded Liabilities” = $1,038,445. This is not a typo. Each taxpayer’s share of debt exceeds a million dollars!

And every year the government spends more than it has, it adds to these totals. When the government spends, it is the taxpayer who must cover the costs.

Stay tuned!

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