The official national debt figure, now approaching $9 trillion, reflects only what the government owes in current debts on money already borrowed. It does not reflect what the federal government has promised to pay millions of Americans in entitlement benefits down the road. Those future obligations put our real debt figure at roughly fifty trillion dollars - a staggering sum that is about as large as the total household net worth of the entire United States. Your share of this fifty trillion amounts to about $175,000.
If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare alone. To close the long-term entitlement gap, the U.S. economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.
~ Congressman Ron Paul, March 6, 2007