Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher in a speech before the Money Marketeers of New York University, New York City, September 25, 2008:
"Foremost among the existing liabilities are some $13 trillion in unfunded Social Security benefits and Medicare obligations already promised to the people but as yet unfunded, an obligation that the Dallas Fed staff estimates at a present value of over $80 trillion."The former comptroller general of the United States, David Walker, estimates the Medicare deficit to be less, only $34 trillion, so let’s work with his less-excitable numbers.
"With everything including Social Security and Medicare properly accounted for, Mr. Walker estimates that 'as of September 30, 2007, the federal government was in a $53 trillion fiscal hole, equal to $455,000 per household and $175,000 per person.'"
$53 trillion sounds like a lot of money, BUT, read the following (supplied by http://www.blogger.com/profile/14608591025225519578)
"The only reason anyone is even talking about cutting benefits and privatizing the program is that the right has managed to convince the public that Social Security is on its last legs.
"For more than two decades they have spread stories about the baby boomers bankrupting the system and multitrillion-dollar debts left to our children and grandchildren.
"In reality the program can pay all scheduled benefits long past the boomers' retirement. According to the Social Security trustees report, it can pay full benefits through the year 2042 with no changes whatsoever.
"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the date at 2052. And even after those dates, Social Security will always be able to pay a higher benefit (adjusted for inflation) than what retirees receive today.
Those scary multitrillion-dollar debts translate into a deficit equal to 0.7 percent of future income - presented in very precise form in the Social Security trustees report for those who care to look." - Anti-Social Security