May 29, 2009
Congratulations Taxpayers! You're on the hook for $55 grand to pay off Obamanomics
Dennis Cauchon at USA Today writes:
Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing during the recession, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security.
That's the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003.
The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That's quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.
"We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America - except, unlike a real mortgage, it's not backed up by a house," says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government's top auditor.
Anyone want to guess how we are going to pay off that debt? Bueller? Bueller?
If you answered, "by drastically increasing taxes on everyone from Bill Gates down to little Johnny's lemonade stand on the corner" you win a cookie.
The day of reckoning is approaching - on entitlements like social security and medicare as well as having to confront our unsustainable debt - and when it arrives, it will signal a crisis that will make us pine for the relative ease of this past year's upheavals.
And the way we're going, that day will come sooner than anyone - including Obama - can imagine.