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Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.
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Off Balance Sheet Deceptions
Published : January 30th, 2013
264 words - Reading time : 0 - 1 minutes
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Keywords :   Government | Medicare | Reality | Recession |

The actual liabilities of the federal government---including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits---already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

... if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities.

Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation's debt and deficit problems be solved.

If that was only the problem we could consider it frightening. However when you consider all the off-balance sheet deceptions going on it becomes truly horrendous.

  • Unfunded Liabilities
  • Contingent Liabilities
    • Guarantees
    • Contractual Obligations
  • Special Purpose Entities
    • PPP - Public Private Partnership
    • PFI - Private Finance Initiative
  • SWAPS

Gordon T Long and John Rubino, with the aid of 23 slides put a magnifying lens on these carefully crafted accounting gimmicks, solely intended to obscure the true liabilities that every tax payer is on the hook for.


23 Minutes, 26 Slides

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Gordon Long

Mr. Long is a former senior group executive with IBM & Motorola, a principle in a high tech public start-up and founder of a private venture capital fund. He is presently involved in private equity placements internationally along with proprietary trading involving the development & application of Chaos Theory and Mandelbrot Generator algorithms.
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