A $1 trillion net loss

Every year around this time the US federal government releases an annual financial report to the public.

Just like Apple or Exxon, the government’s annual report contains several important financial statements and detailed commentary about their finances and operations.

But unlike Apple, Exxon, the government can’t manage to turn a profit. Ever.

According to this year’s report, the government’s net loss “more than doubled, increasing $533.2 billion (103.7%) during [Fiscal Year] 2016 to $1.0 trillion.”

It’s extraordinary that they lost $533 billion in 2015, let alone a full trillion in 2016.

Bear in mind, there was no major wars, recessions, or crises to fight.

What did you really receive in exchange for that trillion-dollar loss?

Brand new highway system? Giant tax rebate?

Nope. None of the above.

The sad reality is that it now costs the government so much to run itself, along with paying massive interest on the debt and supporting all of its entitlement obligations, that they lose $1 trillion even in a “normal” year.

What will happen in a bad year?

Then there’s the issue of the government’s “net worth”.

After adding up all of its assets (like tanks, aircraft carriers, government buildings, etc.) and subtracting liabilities (the national debt), the government’s “net worth” was MINUS $19.3 trillion at the close of the 2016 fiscal year.

That’s worse than 2015’s NEGATIVE $18.2 trillion, which was worse than 2014’s NEGATIVE $17.7 trillion, which was worse than 2013’s NEGATIVE $16.9 trillion.

It’s concerning that the government of the largest economy in the world is bankrupt.

But it’s even more concerning that more people aren’t concerned.

History is packed with examples of once-dominant empires who eventually declined under the weight of their unsustainable finances, from the French monarchy to ancient Rome.

Are we really supposed to believe that this time is any different?