The Snowpack and the Avalanche: How to Understand Unfunded Federal Liabilities.

by Gary North

I begin with what I regard as the fundamental fact of modern economic life: the present value of the unfunded liabilities of the United States government.

The economist who has been most vocal about this is Prof. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University. He releases an estimate every year. His estimate is this: somewhere in the range of $210 trillion.

Understand, this is not the future value of the unfunded liabilities of the federal government. This is the present market value of those unfunded liabilities. This is what the federal government should put aside today to invest in profitable investments that will enable these unfunded liabilities to be funded.

Comparable unfunded liabilities face every other Western government, including Japan. This is an international problem. It is a universal problem.

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