|Per capita world debt, illustrated in DER SPIEGEL|
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In addition to the official national debt of roughly €2 trillion, there are €4.6 trillion in future benefit promises to retirees, the sick and people requiring nursing care -- commitments that are not documented anywhere. When these commitments are included, Germany's real debt is not 80 percent of GDP, as quoted officially, but 276 percent.
As a result, an invisible mountain of social insurance debt rests on every German citizen's shoulders. According to Raffelhüschen [Bernd Raffelhüschen, an economist at the Market Economy Foundation] , to pay off this debt, each citizen would have to pay the government €307 a month throughout his life -- all because the government makes financial promises it cannot keep. It even touts its promises as benefits, and yet citizens are the ones paying for them in the end. The method has been part of the system for generations.