The federal government ran a deficit last year that equals to $42,054 per household, almost four times lower than the official figure reported by Congress. What that means is the average American household income would have dished out nearly all of its money in income taxes last year to balance the budget — that is, if the government decided to use standard accounting rules to calculate the deficit.
USA Today shows that an American household’s average income tops near $50,000:
The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: 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.
Under those standards, the deficit calculated at a whopping $5 trilliong last year. It was officially $1.3 trilliong. Entitlements — Medicare, Social Security, and other programs — spiked by $3.7 trillion last year, but it was not documented on the government books. Convenient.
Meanwhile, Congress blames corporations for their tricky accounting methods.