That $18.5 Trillion National Debt? Former GAO Official Says it’s 3.5 Times That

obama debt

From IJReview: When politicians and pundits alike discuss the national debt, they tell us that it’s approaching $19 trillion. And that by the time President Obama leaves office, it will have more than doubled under his administration.

But Sunday, on the John Catsimatidis radio show, former U.S. comptroller of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) chief David Walker said the actual national debt is more than 3.5 times that amount: $65 trillion.

Here’s a portion of the interview:

Walker explained that there are entitlement programs and other government committments which aren’t included in the $18.5 trillion calculation:

“If you [add] to that $18.5 trillion the unfunded civilian and military pensions and retiree healthcare, the additional under-funding for Social Security, the additional under-funding for Medicare, various commitments and contingencies that the federal government has, the real number is about $65 trillion rather than $18 trillion, and it’s growing automatically absent reforms.”

In an April, 2015, article Forbes broke down the national debt (then $18.2 trillion) on a per taxpayer basis:

debt chart

The change in the amount of the national debt from 2004 to 2015 represents an average annual increase of 7.16%, much higher than the average annual wage increase during the same period For example:

The 2013 average salary increase was 3%, as compared to 2.7% in both 2012 and 2011, and 2.3% in 2010.

$18.5 trillion, $65 trillion or somewhere in between, without real reform and hard choices, the ceiling is nowhere in sight.

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