U.S. is in even worse shape financially than Greece

Victor Joecks

Headline from CNBC.

When adding in all of the money owed to cover future liabilities in entitlement programs the US is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries, Pimco’s Bill Gross told CNBC Monday.

Much of the public focus is on the nation’s public debt, which is $14.3 trillion. But that doesn’t include money guaranteed for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which comes to close to $50 trillion, according to government figures.

The government also is on the hook for other debts such as the programs related to the bailout of the financial system following the crisis of 2008 and 2009, government figures show.

Taken together, Gross puts the total at “nearly $100 trillion,” that while perhaps a bit on the high side, places the country in a highly unenviable fiscal position that he said won’t find a solution overnight.

Pimco, by the way, runs the world’s largest bond fund. As Gross said later in the article, “We’ve got a problem and we have to get after it quickly.”

The U.S.’s debt, from overspending and future unfunded liabilities in Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, is a crisis, and perhaps the biggest crisis is how many in the public aren’t unaware that the U.S.’s level of spending isn’t sustainable.

If you think you can help the public understand the sovereign debt crisis, check out this contest sponsored by the Powerline blog. The person who can most effectively and creatively dramatize the significance of the federal debt crisis will win $100,000. Full details here.

And hurry, the situation’s not getting any better.