Kotlikoff: $211 trillion Fiscal Gap

A new study by University of California-San Diego economics professor James Hamilton finds that the United States has over $70 trillion in off-balance sheet liabilities–an amount nearly six times the on-balance-sheet debt figure.
The Treasury debt outstanding is $16.74 trillion. Of that, $4.84 trillion is money the U.S. owes itself. For that reason, explains Matt Phillips of Quartz, “many analysts tend to focus on the $11.91 trillion in debt that is publicly available to be traded.”
Hamilton’s study, however, examined the federal liabilities that are not included in the government’s officially reported numbers. Specifically, he examined the federal government’s “support for housing, other loan guarantees, deposit insurance, actions taken by the Federal Reserve, and government trust funds.”

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