The Daily Telegraph

US Government ‘hiding true amount of debt’
The Daily Telegraph

The actual figure of the US’ national debt is much higher than the official sum of $US13.4 trillion given by the Congressional Budget Office, according to analysts.

« The Government is lying about the amount of debt. It is engaging in Enron accounting, » said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and co-author of The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future. »The problem is we’re seeing an explosion in spending, » added Andrew Moylan, director of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union.

The CBO estimates the debt will be at $US16.5 trillion in two years, or 100.6 per cent of GDP. But these numbers are incomplete. They do not count off-budget obligations such as required spending for Social Security and Medicare, whose programs represent a balloon payment for the Government as more Americans retire and collect benefits.

Without basic measures the system could be on the road to bankruptcy, according to officials. Mr Kotlikoff says the debt is actually $US200 trillion. Mr Moylan says the number is likely about $US60 trillion. That is close to the figure quoted by David Walker, the US Comptroller General from 1998 to 2008. He launched a campaign to convince Americans that the federal spending and debt is a greater threat than terrorism.