Since people aren’t as terrified as they should be, Mark Levin has been spending a lot of time proving the debt is much bigger than our lying government is telling us. He does a good job, but we think he could go even farther.
It all began last November, when Chris Crox and Bill Archer published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal explaining why the federal debt is much bigger than everyone thinks.
Their logic was simple and direct. The federal government tells you that our debt is $15.96 trillion. But that is misleading because that is only what we owe now. Sure, it most people think the word “debt” actually means “what you owe now”, but we should change that. What if we were to say that the “debt” should also include stuff you are going to owe in the future!!!
Financial people call this type of thing unfunded liability. An unfunded liability is something you know you are going to owe in the future, even though you don’t technically owe it yet. Cox and Archer say that we should include this stuff in what we call our “debt”.
Just to make this personal and concrete for you: imagine you are a young person with a spouse and you have a 1 year old child. This would be like adding that child’s college tuition when figuring out what your “debt” is, because after all you are going to owe that money eventually. That makes perfect sense, right? Your child is one year old, so you might as well think of that child’s college tuition as your current debt.
Using this reasoning, Cox and Archie say that our debt is not only the $15.97 trillion that we owe now, but also the $20.5 trillion that we will eventually owe on Social Security for all of the people alive today who will some day collect social security (in the future), and also the $23.5 trillion that we will eventually owe on retirement benefits for current federal employees who are not yet retired but eventually will be (in the future), and also the $42.8 trillion that we will eventually owe on Medicare for all people who are currently alive and will eventually be paid Medicare (in the future)!
That adds up to $86.8 trillion! This is a brilliant accounting trick! Because if your goal is to really really freak people the fuck out, then what better way is there than to say that their “debt” includes stuff that hasn’t happened yet?
So Mark Levin heard about this article, and has recently been citing it whenever he gets a chance. As a result, these numbers have been cropping up everywhere. So if you see the number $86.8 trillion anywhere, this is where it comes from. That number is now being proudly announced as the “real debt” in blog comments and by talk radio callers everywhere.
However, although Mark Levin is doing a great job (as usual), we here at Liberal Bias believe he does not go far enough.
I mean, let’s use some common sense. If we are going to include future retirement money on the people currently in federal office, why not also include retirement money for people that we haven’t yet elected but we are sure we will elect some day? If we are going to include Medicare for all people alive but who are not yet receiving Medicare payments, then why not also include the money for all Medicare for all future humans that will be born for the next 40 years? Why not also include all of the costs that we are sure to incur just from having dumb liberal presidents in the future?
The point is, why wait? Why not just add in all of that future money NOW, and call it part of our current debt? There is no need to stop at a measly $86.8 trillion!
To illustrate this point, we have created the above graph. Using the infallible reasoning of Mark Levin, and merely extending it a little bit to its logical conclusion, we can conclusively prove that our current national debt is 1 quadrillion dollars!
You heard it hear first.
Graph Data Source: this graph has been created for illustrative purposes only. Liberal “actual” data was not used.
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