The US government does not obey the accounting standards it imposes on
corporations. Instead - Enron style - it ignores future commitments.
The result is an accumulation of what is known as a generational debt.
This figure is the present day value of the cost of delivering future services
to people who believe themselves entitled due to the taxes they have paid to
finance those same services to others. It is - in effect - the amount the
US government should have put aside if future benefits were to be paid for out
of a segregated pot - like a pension fund. According to The Economist
[August 2nd 2003] this amount is $44,000,000,000,000 - or about $147,000 for
every man woman and child in the USA. $147,000 is the current per-capita value
of promises for which there is currently no funding.