How Deep a Hole?
The federal government's financial
condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far
beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken
on to finance the budget deficit, a USA
TODAY analysis shows.
is gap between spending commitments
and revenue last year equals more than one-
third of the nation's gross domestic
Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new
liabilities, more than the record deficit
prompting heated debate between Congress
and the White House over lifting the debt
Social Security added $1.4 trillion in
obligations, partly reflecting longer life
expectancies. Federal and military retirement
programs added more to the financial hole,
Corporations would be required to count
these new liabilities when they are taken on
— and report a big loss to shareholders.
Unlike businesses, however, Congress
postpones recording spending
commitments until it writes a check