The real US debt is over three times bigger than what is officially announced, standing at about $65 trillion, says the former comptroller general.
When all of the country’s unfunded liabilities are added up, the national debt is [over] three times as much the oft-cited figure of $18 trillion, said Dave Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
“If you end up adding to that $18.5 trillion the unfunded civilian and military pensions and retiree healthcare, the additional underfunding for Social Security, the additional underfunding for Medicare, various commitments and contingencies that the federal government has, the real number is about $65 trillion rather than $18 trillion, and it’s growing automatically absent reforms,” Walker told host John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on New York’s AM-970 in an interview airing Sunday.
Walker, who is in charge of ensuring federal spending is fiscally responsible, said a large national debt hinders the government’s ability to conduct both domestic and foreign policy initiatives.
“If you don’t keep your economy strong, and that means to be able to generate more jobs and opportunities, you’re not going to be strong internationally with regard to foreign policy,” he noted.
He added that such a problem prevents the country from investing “in national defense and homeland security.”
Walker went on to say that American citizens have “lost touch with reality” when it comes to spending.
He called on Democrats and Republicans to set aside partisan politics in order to band together to tackle the problem.
“You can be a Democrat, you can be a Republican, you can be unaffiliated, you can be whatever you want, but your duty of loyalty needs to be to country rather than to party, and we need to solve some of the large, known, and growing problems that we have,” he said.