Whatever any federal taxpayer sent off to the Internal Revenue Service on Monday’s federal income tax deadline was chump change compared to what it would cost to pay off the national debt, according to a watchdog organization.
The website Truth in Accounting on Monday released its annual Financial State of the Union, which found that America is deeper in debt than ever before.
“Our elected officials have made repeated financial decisions that have left the federal government with a debt burden of $105 trillion, including unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises,” the report said.
“That equates to a $696,000 burden for every federal taxpayer,” it stated.
As a result, the federal government received an F on its fiscal report card, TIA reported.
“The U.S. Government’s overall financial condition worsened by $4.5 trillion in 2018. While most people focus on the budget deficit of $779 billion, the overall decline in Net Position presents a better picture of the government’s financial decline,” it wrote.
The report further noted that the federal balance sheet lists $1.2 trillion in student loans that must be repaid as one of its major assets. Overall, the federal government has $3.84 trillion in assets, with $108.94 trillion in unfunded liabilities and debt, it said. It noted that Social Security and Medicare, which are not included in official federal debt figures, are included in its report.
“The government’s finances deteriorated significantly, and more recent reports suggest the trend is only getting worse in 2019,” Bill Bergman, the TIA’s director of research, wrote on his blog.
Data for the report was supplied by the “Financial Report of the U.S. Government” for the most recent fiscal year.
A snapshot of where the federal money ends up shows that about 25 percent goes to the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare and Medicaid. The Department of Defense and the Social Security Administration were each tied at 23 percent.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve chairman, said last month that Washington needs to address the growing debt, the Washington Examiner reported.
“I do think that deficits matter and do think it’s not really controversial to say our debt can’t grow faster than our economy indefinitely — and that’s what it’s doing right now,” Powell said. “I’d like to see a greater focus on that over time.”
Powell noted that although the issue is not currently on the public radar screen, it will not go away. “(I)t is something that it’s important that the public discussion really come back to, if I can say that,” he said. “We will have to deal with it eventually.”
Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks who is mulling a presidential campaign, is one of the few seeking the White House in 2020 to focus on the debt.
“In just five years we will spend more on interest than we spend on the entire military budget. Interest payments in 2019 will cost more than what we spent on the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Veterans Affairs combined last year,” he wrote in an Op-Ed on Fox News.
“What we are experiencing is the result of a broken two-party system that is engaged in revenge politics and gotten used to handing out free stuff — from tax cuts to government spending — without being honest that someone must pay. Here’s the secret: there is no free stuff,” he wrote.