How Much Does the Federal Government Owe?

Policy Reports | Federal Spending

No. 338
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
by Liqun Liu, Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving

The U.S. government faces severe fiscal challenges due to trillion dollar annual budget deficits and mounting public debt. But the liabilities are much larger than the public debt, due to commitments the government has made to federal employees, to veterans and to seniors. In addition, it has made explicit and implicit commitments to current workers and retirees through the Social Security and Medicare programs.

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