It's Only Money


What? More money may be needed for federal bailouts? The S&L crisis is just the tip of the iceberg?

Quite possibly, says Ronald Utt, an economist with the National Chamber Foundation. The government's total financial obligations now come to some $5.8 trillion (more than twice the value of the national debt), "and much of that obligation is in bad shape," he notes in a report released by the Heritage Foundation. Without fundamental reform—including the eventual elimination of many government credit and insurance funds—these programs one by one will follow the FSLIC down the road to insolvency, Utt predicts.

Here's a list of some of the biggest credit obligations that you may be required to pay for one day:

FDIC—$1.8 trillion

FSLIC—$959 billion

Pension programs—$819 billion

Government-sponsored enterprises—$763 billion

Direct loan programs (includes Export-Import Bank, Small Business Admin., and Rural Telephone Bank)—$207 billion

National Credit Union Administration—$161 billion

(Note: There is some overlap in the above figures.)