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Is the United States bankrupt?

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Is the United States bankrupt? Many would scoff at this notion. Others would argue that financial implosion is just around the corner. This paper explores these views from both partial and general equilibrium perspectives. It concludes that countries can go broke, that the United States is going broke, that remaining open to foreign investment can help stave off bankruptcy, but that radical reform of U.S. fiscal institutions is essential to secure the nation's economic future. The paper offers three policies to eliminate the nation's enormous fiscal gap and avert bankruptcy: a retail sales tax, personalized Social Security, and a globally budgeted universal healthcare system.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Jul ()
Pages: 235-250

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2006:i:jul:p:235-250:n:v.88no.4
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  1. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch, & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2005. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us to Dinner?—Simulating the Transition Paths of the U.S., E.U., Japan, and China," Working Papers wp102, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Measuring Social Security’s Financial Problems," Working Papers wp093, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does it pay to work?," Working Paper 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2004. "The Role of Immigration in Dealing with the Developed World's Demographic Transition," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 296-, September.
  5. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Kent Smetters, 2003. "Fiscal and generational imbalances: new budget measures for new budget priorities," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Dec.
  6. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2005. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us Out to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the U.S., EU, Japan, and China," NBER Working Papers 11668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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