Friday, March 4, 2016

U.S. government is broke, with a negative net worth of $18.2 trillion

This is what Barack Obama said in 2006 (h/t Tony Whitcomb):
Obama 2006
This is what “President” Barack Obama did.
On February 26, 2016, the U.S. government published its 2015 financial statements audited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and signed and sealed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew — he of the childish squiggly signature (I wonder what graphologists would say about that?).
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (right). That loopy-lop squiggle is his signature.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (right). That loopy-loop squiggle is his signature.
As Simon Black of Sovereign Man explains, the financial statements “are intended provide an accurate accounting of government finances, just like any big corporation would do.” They show that, once again, the US government’s financial condition has declined significantly from the previous year.
Net assets or net worth refers to the difference between the total assets and the liabilities of an individual, household, or government.
In 2015, the U.S. government had $3.2 trillion in total assets, which include everything from financial assets like bank balances to physical assets like tanks, bullets, aircraft carriers, and the federal highway system.
Of those assets, the single biggest line item $1.2 trillion in student loans that are owed to the government by the youth of America, comprising as much as 37% of the U.S. government’s total reported assets. The $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loans — an amount similar to the size of the subprime mortgage market back in 2008 — is now considered one of the most precarious bubbles in finance. Worse still, student loan delinquency rates are rising, now at 11.5% according to Federal Reserve data.
In other words, more than a third of the federal government’s asset base is debt owed by young people for their college education that, for too many, qualifies them for minimum-wage jobs at Starbucks or Yelp. (See “Millennial discovers the real world: Fired 2 hours after complaining online about her salary“)
On the other side of the equation are a reported $21.5 trillion in liabilities, which gives the federal government an official net worth of negative $18.2 trillion.
  $3.2 trillion (total assets)
– $21.5 trillion (liabilities)
= -$18.2 trillion (net worth)
The $18.2 trillion net worth is worse than 2014’s $17.7 trillion and 2013’s $16.9 trillion. It just keeps getting worse.
Simon Black points out that all big companies publish financial statements, which are then reviewed by an independent audit firm. Auditors make sure that shareholders and the public can have confidence in a company’s financial statements by ensuring that management is accurately representing the company’s true condition. Thus when an auditor issues a failing grade, there’s usually hell to pay. At the very hint of impropriety a company’s stock price will tank immediately. People get fired; SEC investigations are launched; and senior executives can even face criminal charges because of US securities law and section 404 of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
In the case of the U.S. government, year after year the Government Accountability Office (GAO) gives the federal government a failing grade in its audit report of America’s financial statements. For 2015, the GAO chastised the federal government for its “unsustainable fiscal path” and for consistently failing to prepare “reliable and complete financial information– both for individual federal entities and for the federal government as a whole,” singling out in particular the Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Agriculture.
In fact, a report published last year found that the Department of Defense had somehow “misplaced” $8.5 trillion of taxpayer money over the last 20 years.
In all, the GAO calculates that the federal government’s financial uncertainties total $27.9 trillion, which is $6.4 trillion more than the $21.5 trillion in liabilities reported for 2015. All of which suggests that the government’s true financial condition is even worse than reported, with an actual net worth of MINUS $24.6 trillion.
And if you add the $41+ trillion (by the government’s own calculations) in Social Security shortfall, then the net worth of the U.S. government is MINUS $65.6 trillion.
Obama as convict
As Simon Blacks puts it, if the federal government were a private company, “Barack Obama and Jack Lew would be wearing dayglo orange jumpsuits in court while facing felony fraud charges.
The government of the United States is totally, desperately, hopelessly bankrupt. And they become even more insolvent with each passing year.”

No comments:

Post a Comment