US debt is only part of the problem

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There is much focus on the current US Federal Government debt of US$16 trillion, forecast to rise to US$20 trillion by 2015 if corrective action is not taken. This is over 100% of the GDP of the United States. But that’s only part of the picture: the unfunded obligations of welfare programmes such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are over US$65 trillion. We can be confident that the United States will never run a budget surplus sufficient to pay off its debts, as was expected around 2001.

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