Just Need Another $17 Trillion


When the numbers get this high, what, exactly, is the difference between $65 trillion and $82 trillion?  From the Free Beacon:

The federal government’s unfunded health care obligations have grown by a whopping $17 trillion since the passage of President Obama’s controversial reform bill, a new study has found.

Staff at the Senate Budget Committee, which calculated the figure using methods based on those used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), found that total unfunded obligations for federal health care programs has jumped from $65 trillion in 2009 to $82 trillion in 2011.

Added to the government’s existing obligation for entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the total now comes to almost $100 trillion.

That is almost seven times U.S. annual gross domestic product (GDP).

Two things stand out:  One, that even before Obama imposed his awful and unworkable health care plan on us, we were already $65 trillion in the hole.  And two, at this point, what’s the big deal with another lousy $17 trillion?  It’s sort of like when you buy a car and they want you to kick in for the rust-proofing.  C’mon, they say.  It’s just another two cents on your monthly payment.  

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive

    I picture William H Macy plugging the true coat in Fargo.

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    $17 trillion.  Rob Long’s share of the residuals of his new series, after it goes into syndication.

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  3. Profile Photo Member

    Ah, just rounding error for an Obama budget.

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    Wait a minute–go look at the report. The $65 trillion figure is the total unfunded liability accumulated over the next 75 years. 

    Lots of stuff can change in 75 years, friends–including inflation rates, economic growth (or its lack), and a sudden outbreak of fiscal rectitude by our elected officials. Not to mention fire, famine, flood, and pestilence.

    What this report really demonstrates is that back in 2009 somebody came up with a totally silly estimate–and three years later a different somebody updated it to come up with an even sillier one.

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    With the extra money, maybe they could have hired a constitutional lawyer or constitutional professor who could have told them that the healthcare law was unconstitutional.

    Oh, right.

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    Even the lower estimates are unsustanible. Unless we get some grownups in D.C. Pronto! Difficult times are just around the bend.

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    For perspective, a reminder: A million seconds is eleven days; a billion seconds is thirty-three years; a trillion seconds is 33,000 years. Ouch!

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    Wasn’t it Johnny Carson who explained the difference?

    • If Johnny had a million dollars, and gave his wife $1,000 a day to spend, he wouldn’t run out of money for about three years.
    • If Johnny had a billion dollars, he wouldn’t run out for three thousand years.

    I suppose we all see reality through different glasses.

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    US GDP is about $14.6 trillion. So Obamacare has lost, in just two years, more than a full year of the entire productive capacity of the United States of America. Wow.

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    Paul, You may well be right, but I don’t think so. Being an election year in a few countries and a key transition year in China, we will probably make it through 2012 relatively unscathed. I suspect that after that the road will get uncomfortably bumpy and 2-3 years out, if we have not really started to clean up our fiscal act, things will get downright interesting.

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    Looks pretty interesting to me already. If I’m not mistaken isn’t that an old Chinese curse?

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    Robjust read the breitbart piece in new NR, why does this loss hurt so much ?i have cried over this unrelated person because he was such a rabblerouser and his internet creations were a siren’s call to lonely conservatives.Orson’s reminiscing, Big Hollywood was like Ricochet for about a year.Of course, you guys figured out what was wrong and we’re here.I really rue never meeting him.thank you for a very nice piece, which my ipad tells me not to link to

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    A hundred trillion here, a hundred trillion there…and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

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    Our current debt and unfunded liabilities simply can not be repaid. Default through a) inflation, b)monetization (really a + b), or c) non payment is the only alternative. Our current debt/GDP + permanently high oil cost & other depleting resource costs make booming growth doubtful to say the least. And we add to this problem by another $17 Trillion? Not to mentioned programmed gargantuan deficits as far as the eye can see and an eventual return to traditional treasury interest rates of 6% or higher. 

    Where is the outrage against this insanity? I have mentioned irrational complacency before, but need to amend this to insane complacency. Did a couple of our generations skip grade school arithmetic? Did the world move to an alternate economic reality and forget to let me know? 

    I guess I have been living overseas for too long. I no longer understand the country of my birth. The America and Americans I knew would never allow this national suicide to take place…………lining up like sheep to march to the slaughterhouse.

    Was Andrew the last valiant warrior among us?

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    Brian Watt: A hundred trillion here, a hundred trillion there…and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the T-word was never mentioned in the context of the Federal budget. But at the rate things have been growing since I was a lad, I figure some time before I die they’ll be using the Q-word.

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