I recently attended a dinner where Mary Meeker presented the income statement of the United States. She applied Wall Street financial analysis to the United States and the results were enlightening. As a former Investment Banking analyst, I appreciated the discussion of the U.S.'s economic situation in terms that I could understand. After years of hearing pundits discuss entitlements on NPR I admit I didn't quite grasp what they were talking about. I realize how pathetic that sounds, but I'm being honest. Which makes me wonder how many others don't quite understand it either.
Anyhoo, after Ms. Meeker's presentation I finally understood the term "entitlement"! She used financial terms but really they're terms that anyone who has ever had to balance a household budget can understand, too.
The upshot? The current U.S. budget is not a company many would invest in. See some of her slides below.