What is the Total Unfunded Liability of the US Government?

One of the top political topics of 2009 was the health care reform plan which is still being worked on by Congress. Because of the vociferous debate about the plan, US citizens have probably become much more knowledgeable about the amount of debt that the US government owes. A great deal of that debt is held by countries such as China and that fact too has captured the public’s attention.

But, there is another type of debt that isn’t talked about as frequently. I am referring to what is called unfunded liabilities. In essence, the US government has made promises to pay monies today and in the future to it’s citizens. We are talking about Social Security and Medicare.

The government raises funds for these expenditures from various taxes and then uses the money to fund the program. These programs are considered unfunded liabilities because, projecting out in the future, … Read More