Fiscal Cliff

Opinion: Fiscal Cliff is Nothing Compared to Future Obligations

You think $600 billion is scary? Try $87 trillion

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In mid-2010, as the economic recovery began to show its true anemic color, I bemoaned America's grasp of basic financial matters (see: Financial Illiteracy Is Killing Us). The article contained a bunch of arresting statistics, but there's one number that makes all the recent squawking about the $600 billion fiscal cliff—and every other headline-grabbing issue, for that matter—beside the point.