Gannett was supposed to have exclusive rights, but a member of the press snuck in, anyway. It was decided it was very important to noise the material abroad, so here we go. There wasn’t anything in the newspapers today, anyway.

I just got back from the long-awaited presentation by John Boyle. It was an apolitical analysis of government debt in this country. The focus was unfunded liabilities. Boyle’s firm, JL Boyle, International, helps to turn around businesses and municipal governments that are headed for insolvency. Boyle said a lot of governments don’t want to hire him because they prefer soothsayers.

The bottom line is $76.2 trillion. That is what the government owes when an estimated $8.6 trillion owed for Social Security, an estimated $38.6 trillion owed for Medicare, an estimated $5.8 trillion owed to federal employees and veterans, and an estimated $7.1 trillion in benefits owed state and local government employees – are added to the well-known $16.1 trillion.

Boyle said if all government agencies were to be shut down, all government buildings abandoned, and all government workers laid off, government would still be running a shortfall of $8 trillion because of all the mandatory programs it must fund. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TARP, and other programs are expected to cost the government, with interest, $2.477 trillion this year. Revenues are expected to run around $2.469 trillion. Boyle said the numbers come directly from the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget of the US Government, p. 210. He expected the actuals will be worse.

Several municipalities have already gone bankrupt, and the list grows. Bankruptcy is about the only way local governments can break contracts with unions. In many places policemen and firemen can retire after twenty years of service and get pensions that make them multimillionaires.

Another outrageous area of waste, fraud and abuse is healthcare. In the US, healthcare consumes about 17% of GDP. In other industrialized nations, the number is closer to 10%. That said, the country’s infant mortality rate and life expectancy are the worst among industrialized countries.

Boyle says the solution is to restructure Medicare and Social Security. For example, the retirement age can be raised a few years, and caps can be removed. Boyle wants those serving in government to have the same benefits programs as the working masses. He liked Warren Buffet’s idea of banning sitting members of Congress from re-election anytime the federal deficit exceeds 3% of GDP.