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The Boston Globe

Business

LAURENCE J. KOTLIKOFF

Fiscal compromise ignores depth of nation’s economic woes

Our country is broke. It’s not broke in 30 years or 10 years or 5 years. It’s broke today. A colossal $222 trillion separates the present value of projected future spending and the present value of projected future taxes.

This enormous fiscal gap is the true measure of our nation’s indebtedness. It’s 20 times larger than our nation’s $11 trillion official debt and for a reason. Successive administrations and Congresses have carefully kept almost all of our liabilities off the books using accounting that would make Bernard Madoff blush.

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