U.S. Federal Budget Far Worse Than It Seems?

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According to this USA Today article, the relatively bad $318 billion dollar deficit for 2005 would really be $760 billion if the Federal government were held to the same standards as public corporations.

Why the discrepancy? It seems it is mostly a matter of liabilities:

Congress has written its own accounting rules — which would be illegal for a corporation to use because they ignore important costs such as the growing expense of retirement benefits for civil servants and military personnel.

The article goes on to say that if the figures included to decline of Social Security and Medicare, the actual deficit would be closer to $3.5 trillion.

This is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue:

The Clinton administration reported a surplus of $559 billion in its final four budget years. The audited numbers showed a deficit of $484 billion.

Read More About:   Budget Deficit | National Debt | Politics | United States