DENNIS CAUCHON OF USA TODAY writes that the true size of the US federal budget deficit dwarfs current estimates. USA Today’s analysis accounts for the present value of future liabilities for all entitlements including Social Security and Medicare. Current practice excludes these liabilities from the official numbers. But as noted by Cauchon,
“Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules. The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion.” READ MORE.