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Unfunded liabilities hit $122 trillion - as U.S. debt, deficit grow

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Now that the coronation of President Barack Obama is over and the nation returns to the poorly scripted soap opera being played out on Capitol Hill, the harsh realities of our nation’s financial crisis is center stage.

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Everyone seems to be aware that our national debt is $16.4 trillion. Our current budget deficit — what the government takes in versus what it spends — is $1.06 trillion. In fact our nation’s revenue is $2.48 trillion. Not bad. However, the government of the United States is spending $3.54 trillion a year. That’s bad. Hence, the deficit spending of $1.06 trillion.

That’s not a good thing. Why? Well, when one examines the nation’s fiscal problems more carefully, one discovers that we have an unfunded liabilities total of $122.4 trillion. So, if one was thinking that all we have to focus on is the annual deficit and the total debt, one should realign one’s thinking. My question — how does one wrap one’s mind around $122 trillion when the nation’s total national assets — small business, corporations and households across this nation — only total $93 trillion?

Why is all of this important to the discussion? It frames the total picture of our government as excessive and well beyond what we can afford. It should no longer be swept aside when the negotiations between the White House, Senate and House commence. This is serious. This is what could ultimately bring this nation to its knees.

Now, for some good news. As a citizen of the United States of America each taxpayer has a liability for this spending of only $1.1 million. So if you have an extra million laying around, send your share to the IRS and get that bill out of the way before April 15.

We must, as citizens of this nation, hold our elected officials responsible for this overwhelming problem. We have allowed them to rack up this indebtedness. It is now our responsibility to demand that they cut spending more than we bring in any given year. If we fail to follow through with this demand as individuals of our leaders, then we all fail the generations that will follow us.

Keith Hansen

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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