As the Bush administration proposes backstopping mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a $300 billion line of credit and Congress contemplates another economic stimulus, the question is who will bail out the government?
“People seem to think the government has money,” said former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. “The government doesn’t have any money.”
A rare consensus has developed across the political spectrum that the government’s own fiscal affairs are precarious, with an astonishing $53 trillion in long-term liabilities, according to the Government Accountability Office.
To put that number in human terms, the debt has reached $455,000 per U.S. household. As that debt grows, the United States increasingly relies on foreigners, including China and Middle East oil producers, for financing.