Quantifying the National Debt

The commonly reported federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2009 is a record-high $1.4 trillion. This figure, however, is based upon an accounting method that fails to account for the vast majority of federal obligations. Using newly released data from the U.S. Treasury Department, Just Facts has found that the federal government’s financial condition deteriorated by $4.3 trillion during fiscal year 2009–or roughly three times the reported “budget deficit.” What does this mean to you and your family? The federal government now has debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations that amount to $542,789 for every household in the United States.

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