The former head of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has estimated that the national debt is a staggering three times as much as usually publicized. Rather than $18 trillion, the actual number is around $66 trillion.
News reports about government debt at all levels are now more frequent and increasingly alarming. There is little doubt that this is due to the fact that the debt crisis is actually getting worse. But it might also be a reflection of a greater awareness on the part of citizens and the news media that debt is a real danger. For those of us who have been warning about government debt for decades, this greater awareness is long overdue.
Understanding all the ramifications of public debt isn’t easy. As to the magnitude of debt, former California legislator and now congressman Tom McClintock used to refer to “MEGO” numbers (My Eyes Glaze Over) meaning that citizens really can’t be expected to comprehend the vastness of numbers – like $66 trillion – with so many zeros behind them.
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