Obama decides the government should actually report the accurate debt. So, as opposed to Bush, he is aiming for complete honesty in the debt. This means:
- adding the cost of the wars to the debt
- subtracting money we DONT get from the AMT exclusions
- place in average costs of potential national disasters
- the HIGH-END cost of the bailout(s), including TARP and his new mortgage plan
- if medicare / social security run into debt, that will be included too (it is at surplus now)
These are all estimates, but it represents an attempt to really know our debt. We cannot even begin to tackle this stuff until we are honest with ourselves. On one hand, the numbers will be sobering, on the other hand, people might actually take confidence in some transparency.