The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.Taxpayers on the hook for $59 trillion - USATODAY.com
Modern accounting requires that corporations, state governments and local governments count expenses immediately when a transaction occurs, even if the payment will be made later.
The federal government does not follow the rule, so promises for Social Security and Medicare don't show up when the government reports its financial condition.
The U.S.'s GDP was $11.7 trillion in 2006.
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