WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) highlighted this week’s release of the U.S. Treasury Department’s annual Financial Report of the United States, indicating $64.4 trillion in total unfunded liabilities, an increase of $2.8 trillion over 2013.
The Financial Report is the only annual government financial statement published in public-company format, which accounts for unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare.
Unfunded liabilities rose at a rate of nearly $8 billion per day last year.
“These are the real numbers, and they are terrible. Washington is still refusing to keep up with the national credit card,” Cooper said. “Most small businesses have better accounting standards than the federal government. Folks who read or hear this should tell their elected representatives or favorite trade associations to wake up, smell the coffee and tell the truth about America.”
Cooper has been a longtime advocate of the federal government using accrual (or “real”) accounting instead of the cash accounting method it currently uses, which hides the true cost of our national debt.
Cooper is a longtime advocate for a balanced, bipartisan debt reduction plan. In 2006, he published a foreword to the 2005 Financial Report of the United States. Six years later, Cooper and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced a bipartisan budget based on the proposal from the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Cooper-LaTourette budget would have reduced the debt by more than $4 trillion over the following decade.