What would the government debt be if they calculated it the way businesses do?

The government notion of debt is really a meaningless concept, it never looks at the obligations that you owe in the future, just how much you have paid out more than you had in the past. Here is an attempt to try to count all those obligations that the Federal government is accumulating.

The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for. . . .
The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $527,000 per household. That's more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt. It reflects the challenge as the number of retirees soars over the next 20 years and seniors try to collect on those spending promises.
"The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn't take into account what's owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees," says accountant Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. "Without accurate accounting, we can't make good decisions." . . .

Medicare: $24.8 trillionObligation per household: $212,500
Social Security: $21.4 trillionObligation per household: $183,400
Federal debt: $9.4 trillionObligation per household: $79,900
Military retirement/disability benefits: $3.6 trillion
Federal employee retirement benefits: $2 trillionObligation per household: $17,000
State, local government obligations: $5.2 trillionObligation per household: $44,800

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