The US debt clock now reads $16.149 trillion, which equates to $51,347 for every US citizen. However as David Walker points out in a recent interview on Yahoo Finance, the debt clock “doesn’t include unfunded Social Security promises, unfunded Medicare promises, unfunded pension and retiree health promises for civilian and military personnel. So in reality the Federal financial hole is about $70 trillion and growing at $10 million per minute.”
US debt clock as of 5 October 2012
David Walker, who served as Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from 1998 to 2008, is warning Americans that the path they are on is one that leads to fiscal ruin.
He goes on to say that, “people that want to downplay the problem will only talk about public debt as a percentage of the economy… but when you include what we owe to Social Security and Medicare, which is what you have to do to compare us to Europe, we’re 135%.” That means that the only country in Europe that is in a worse situation than the US, is Greece.
Mr Walker stresses that there is an acute lack of leadership on this issue, pointing out that “President Obama submitted a budget to the Congress that didn’t get a single vote, not one vote, even in his own party. And so the truth is neither candidate has provided a viable plan yet.”
Not only does America face the fiscal cliff in January 2013, but Mr Walker believes it also faces a possible debt crisis within the next two years.