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For Politicians, It’s All Just Funny Money

Last September, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) proposed a $5,000 “baby bond” for every child born in America. Conservatives rightly scoffed at the idea, reported the Advertiser-Tribune in Tiffin, Ohio, and the Washington Post reports that Clinton has abandoned the idea. They even add that Bush Administration speechwriter Michael Gershon had advocated a similar idea.

Now comes information about real money from the U.S. General Accountability Office. In a new report (requires Adobe) they write that:

“federal debt managed by the (Bureau of Public Debt) totaled about $9 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2007. However, that number excludes many items, including the gap between scheduled and funded Social Security and Medicare benefits, veterans’ health care, and a range of other commitments and contingencies that the federal government has pledged to support. If these items are factored in, the total burden in present value dollars is estimated to be about $53 trillion. Stated differently, the estimated current total burden for every American is nearly $175.000, and every day that burden becomes larger.” (Emphasis added)

A news item from CNSNews.com about the GAO report says that about $2.22 trillion of that $9 trillion debt is held by foreign investors.

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