• Heritage Action
  • More

Detroits per Capita Obligations Pale in Comparison to Federal Governments

Created on August 2, 2013

Detroits per Capita Obligations Pale in Comparison to Federal Governments

Detroit’s per Capita Obligations Pale in Comparison to Federal Government’s

The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in large part due to the city’s huge unfunded obligations, which totaled $26,655 per capita. That amount, however, is only one-eighth the size of the burden currently facing all Americans: The federal government’s $69 trillion in debt and unfunded obligations works out to $218,169 per capita.

$5,777 Intragovernmental debt

$3,900 Other liabilities

$19,827 Federal employees and veterans’ benefit liabilities

$37,610 Federal debt held by the public

$38,870 Social Security unfunded obligations

$112,186 Medicare unfunded obligations

Note: Figures shown are based on $2.8 trillion in the Social Security trust fund and $227 billion in the HI and SMI Medicare trust funds being included in the long-term Social Security and Medicare obligations and are excluded from intragovernmental debt. Source: Authors’ calculations based on data from U.S. Department of the Treasury, Government Accountability Office, Social Security and Medicare trustees’ reports, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Census Bureau, and Kevyn Orr, “City of Detroit Proposal for Creditors,” June 14, 2013, http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/713693/detroit-emergency-manager-kevyn-orrs-report-to.pdf (accessed July 30, 2013).

CHART 1   |   IB 4004   |   heritage.org