The US Government Lost $1.2 Trillion In 2017

Authored by Simon Black via,

Earlier this month, the United States government released its annual financial report for the year 2017.

This is something the government does every year, similar to how large companies like Apple, or Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, publish their own annual reports.

Unlike Berkshire and Apple, though, whose financial reports typically show strong, positive results, the US government’s financial statements are a complete horror show.

Right at the beginning of the report, the government explains that it’s “net loss” for the year was an unbelievable $1.2 TRILLION.

Read that number again.

$1.2 trillion. That’s simply staggering.

It’s larger than the size of the entire Australian economy… and constitutes a loss of more than $2.2 million per minute.

This is not a conspiracy theory or irrational fantasy.

This is the Treasury Secretary of the United States of America publicly announcing that the federal government lost $1.2 trillion on page ‘i’ of its annual financial report.

What’s even more alarming is that 2017 was a great year.

There was no war. No recession. No epic financial crisis.

In his introductory letter, in fact, the Treasury Secretary proudly stated that “[t]he country enjoyed a pick-up in [economic] growth in 2017. Unemployment is at its lowest level since February 2001, consumer and business confidence are at two-decade highs, and inflation is low and stable.”

In short, everything was awesome in 2017.

Even the government’s overall revenue was a record high $3.3 trillion for the year.

Yet despite all that good news… despite all those positive developments and record revenue… they STILL managed to lose $1.2 trillion.

If the government loses $1.2 trillion in a GOOD year, how much do you think they’ll lose in a BAD year? How much will they lose when they actually do have a recession to fight? Or another war. Or a major banking crisis?

More importantly, how long can something so unsustainable possibly last?

But the fun doesn’t stop here.

Further in the report, the government reviews its own assets and liabilities… effectively calculating its “net worth”.

It’s just like how an individual might calculate his/her own net worth– you add up the value of your assets, like your home, car, and bank account balances. Then subtract liabilities like mortgage and credit card debt.

The end result is your net worth. And hopefully it’s positive.

The government’s is hopelessly negative: MINUS $20.4 trillion. (See page 55 of the report.)

And that’s worse than its result from the previous year’s MINUS $19.3 trillion– meaning that the government’s net worth decreased by about 6% year over year.

To be clear, a net worth of negative $20.4 trillion means that the government added up the values of ALL of its assets. Every tank. Every aircraft carrier. Every acre of land. Every penny in the bank.

And then subtracted its enormous liabilities, like the national debt.

The difference is negative $20.4 trillion, i.e. the government has far MORE liabilities than it has assets.

If the government were a business, it would have gone bankrupt long, long ago.

On top of that, though, the government separately calculated its long-term liabilities from Social Security and Medicare.

As we frequently discuss, both Social Security and Medicare are running out of money.

And according to the government’s own calculations (on page 58), the “total present value of future expenditures in excess of future revenue” for Social Security and Medicare is MINUS $49 TRILLION.

Essentially this means that the two largest and most important pension and healthcare programs in the United States are insolvent by nearly $50 trillion.

Altogether, the government is in the red by almost $70 trillion.

It’s remarkable that this is not front page news.

There has not been a single utterance from mainstream media about the pitiful, dangerously unsustainable finances of the federal government.

I’m certainly not suggesting that the sky is falling, or that there’s some imminent disaster that will strike tomorrow morning.

But any rational person needs only look to the pages of history to find dozens of examples of once dominant powers who were crippled by their excessive debts.

It may take several years to feel the full impact. But it would be utterly foolish to believe that this time is different.

*  *  *

And to continue learning how to ensure you thrive no matter what happens next in the world, I encourage you to download our free Perfect Plan B Guide.


Endgame Napoleon archon Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

They have no plans to do any starving with anything but Social Security and Medicare—the only benefits that people are forced to pay into at either 7.65 or 15.3% of every penny they earn up to the $127,200 SS cap, including 15.3% of every $200 1099 gig in this piecework economy.

Meanwhile, they will keep right on piling on the 100% non-contributory monthly welfare and child-tax-credit welfare for the womb-productive citizens and noncitizens, enabling moms with spousal income and moms with layers of monthly welfare that covers their monthly bills to work part time for low wages, driving wages down for everyone living on earned-only income.

There will also be no starving for illegal aliens with US-born kids and sole, male breadwinners because the welfare helps them to drive down wages for men, like all the means-tested welfare that props up single-parent households for female citizens, drives down wages for employers.

That mostly hurts the single, non-welfare-eligible, non-womb-productive women, living on earned-only income, along with the single moms with grown children and the non-custodial parents. And we don’t count.

The maximum, refundable child tax credit was already at $6,444 before the “tax cut,” equaling 3 months of wages for many citizens living in the many states with per-capita income between $18k and $20k. 

That is not starving.

It is icing on a monthly welfare cake that covers the rent and groceries of moms, working part time to stay below the earned-income limit for welfare, giving them extra child-tax-credit welfare money to cover their arms with $900 tattoos or to treat their boyfriends to beach trips.

Same thing with the married moms who leave work every day at 2:30, with phones ringing off the hook with paying customers, and for weeks of additional, excused absenteeism with no firing in the multitude of crony-mom jobs.

Welfare pays the major household bills of the single moms, enabling them to have an independent household on part-time work, while the major bills of the married moms are covered by spousal income, allowing them to work part time to add keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ money to the household. Married moms sometimes use their child tax credits on different types of fluff, like kitchen remodels, as opposed to tattoos.

Those womb-productive citizens and noncitizens needed more child-tax-credit welfare, even though non-welfare-eligible citizens, living on earned-only income with no spousal income, face rent that absorbs more than half of our monthly pay. We also pay more for every product, compared to families who get discounts on everything from cellular service to insurance. We get a tax refund that will cover a Costco membership and all the negative consequences of the mounting deficit.

In reply to by archon

any_mouse DeadFred Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

Not really. They pay out in FRN digits. No real value changes hands.

It does not matter until someone refuses to accept FRN as currency.

Such as Russia, China, Iran, India, or the SCO.

Libya and Iraq tried to GTOW. They are now smoking ruins of once sovereign nations.

Russia and China have started the process.

Tick. Tick.

In reply to by DeadFred

verumcuibono DeadFred Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:58 Permalink


Everyone on ZH should know this and give ZH hell for ignoring it. Papa Bezos won't allow any of the writer/storytellers to tell this story.

In reply to by DeadFred

greenskeeper carl Hal n back Tue, 02/27/2018 - 23:36 Permalink

Yep, if they were required to make their calculations based on the rules that apply to a large, publicly traded company, 6 trillion is probably about right. Funny how they'd lock people up in the private sector for doing exactly what they do now. Actually, its really not that funny, its pretty fucked up. Especially since people are free to divest themselves of shares of a company. Divesting yourself of USDs and the US govt is a much more difficult proposition.

In reply to by Hal n back