The Federal Deficit: Making It Worse

By | February 9, 2008

To make matters worse, our government is spending at an extraordinary rate. Though officially the budget deficit (the amount spent beyond what is brought in each year) is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, according to experts, it’s actually much higher:

Congress uses “cash accounting” — an accounting practice that would be illegal for any U.S. corporation — in order to report a lower deficit publicly… Congress has not been accounting for outflow to programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Without these omissions, the U.S. budget deficit is well over $3 trillion.”

We’ve been hiding the bottom line from the American people,” says Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., “It’s not fair to them, and it’s delusional on our part.” (from

In simple terms, when figuring the deficit, the government takes the amount of money it has brought in, but only subtracts the amount of money which has already been paid out, not the amount which has actually been spent.

One other thing to note, from

Social Security is a separate “account” (from the federal budget), and future payouts are are supposed to be funded by today’s surplus. However, that surplus is being borrowed by the government and therefore doesn’t actually exist.

That’s why there’s is a lot of talk about the need for Social Security reform. All of the money that the government take from your paycheck for Social Security, it isn’t just holding onto for you. The government is using all of that money, and there is legitimate concern that there won’t be enough money to pay out benefits in the future.

(to be continued)

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