Renowned economist Laurence Kotlikoff recently testified at the U.S. Senate about the runaway U.S. budget. How bad is it? Kotlikoff says, “I told them the real (2014) deficit was $5 trillion, not the $500 billion or $300 billion or whatever it was announced to be this year. Almost all the liabilities of the government are being kept off the books by bogus accounting. . . . The government is 58% underfinanced . . . . Social Security is 33% underfinanced . . . . So, the entire government enterprise is in worse fiscal shape than Social Security is, but they are both in terrible shape.” So, how much is America on the hook for in the future? Kotlikoff contends, “If you take all the expenditures that the government is expected to make, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), all the spending on defense, repairing the roads, paying for the Supreme Court Justices’ salaries, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, everything and take all those expenditures into the future . . . and compare that to all the taxes that are projected to come in, and the difference is $210 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap. That’s our true debt.”
Professor Kotlikoff goes on to say, “It will collapse. It is just a matter of when. I can’t say when, but all I can say it’s going to be too late. . . . We are seeing signs of this in the economy, but we are not picking it up that clearly. The macro economy is not doing all that well.” Kotlikoff goes on to say, “I think our financial system is really built to fail because it combines two things which really haven’t been addressed. . . . It combines leverage, borrowing by the financial middlemen and then investing in things that they don’t tell you they are investing in. So, there is opacity and leverage. These are the two major problems for the banking system. What we need to do is get rid of the leverage and get rid of the opacity. We need full disclosure of the investments of our financial institutions.”
Where can you get a safe investment? Kotlikoff says forget U.S. Treasury bonds. “I think they are one of the riskiest securities in the world because interest rates are likely to go up. I think the Fed is going to have to keep printing money because Congress isn’t paying our bills, and that’s going to lead to inflation eventually. So, I think long term Treasuries are extremely risky, and they can drop 5%, 10% or 20% overnight. That could put my bank that was viewed as perfectly safe today out of business. So we could have inflation take off and interest rates go up. We could have banks fail, and that could lead to runs on other banks. That’s the scenario,” says Professor Kotlikoff.
Professor Kotlikoff also has a new best-selling book titled “Get What’s Yours: The secrets to maxing out your Social Security.” It is currently the number one seller on Amazon.com. Kotlikoff says many people do not know the rules, and if you don’t it, could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. . . . We have two big problems. Social Security is in terrible shape. We need to fix that. Some people get more out of Social Security because they know the rules. That’s one problem. Problem B is Social Security is 33% under financed. Fixing problem A could make problem B worse. We need to fix problem A and B in the future.”
Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, best-selling author of “Get What’s Yours: The secrets to maxing out your Social Security.”
(There is much more in the video interview.)
After the Interview:
For a copy of Professor Kotlikoff’s best-selling new book “Get What’s Yours: The secrets to maxing out your Social Security” please click here.
Greg is the producer and creator of USAWatchdog.com. The site’s slogan is “analyzing the news to give you a clear picture of what’s really going on.” The site will keep an eye on the government, your financial interests and cut through the media spin. USAWatchdog.com is neither Democrat nor Republican, Liberal or Conservative. Before creating and producing the site, Greg spent nearly 9 years as a network and investigative correspondent. He worked for ABC News and Good Morning America for nearly 6 years. Most recently, Greg worked for CNN for shows such as Paula Zahn Now, American Morning and various CNN business shows.