Mises Wire

Home | Wire | News Flash: Uncle Sam is Bankrupt

News Flash: Uncle Sam is Bankrupt

  • unclesam2.jpg

Tags Big GovernmentTaxes and SpendingFiscal Theory


Simon Black reports that Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, just released the government's audited financial statement for 2015 and it makes Bernie Madoff's books look like Warren Buffet's financial statements!

To begin with, the federal government reportedly has $3.2 trillion in assets, but that includes rusty tanks, outdated weapon systems, and the biggest item is $1.2 trillion in student loans (delinquency rates are 11.5 percent and rising)!

On the other side of the balance sheet sits $21.5 trillion in liabilities. This leaves us with $18.2 trillion in negative net worth, a figure that is growing by about 1/2 trillion per year.

Of course these numbers are not the true picture because (a) they are not audited like a public corporation is, and (b) these figures to not account for the enormous unfunded future liabilities associated with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. A truer figure would be around $200 trillion negative net worth.



Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Image source:
When commenting, please post a concise, civil, and informative comment. Full comment policy here

Add Comment

Shield icon wire