The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The government added
$5.3 trillion in new
financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion
the total of financial promises not paid for.
This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product.
took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.
Social Security added $1.4 trillion in obligations, partly reflecting longer life expectancies. Federal and military retirement programs added more to the financial hole, too.