Thursday, July 18, 2013

Very Impressed With Treasury's Ability to Manage Debt

WorldNetDaily made this disturbing assertion that for 56 days now, the total public debt has remained unchanged, just below the legal spending limit -- in spite of the inevitable changes one would expect from buying and selling securities, spending, etc.  And when I go to the Treasury Department's Daily Statements and look back at Today's total public debt for many weeks back, sure enough.  On July 16, 2013:
Total Public Debt
Subject to Limit       $ 16,699,396
Statutory Debt Limit $ 16,699,421 

On June 24, 2013:
Total Public Debt
Subject to Limit        $ 16,699,396
Statutory Debt Limit $ 16,699,421 
I am so impressed with Treasury's ability to hold the total debt exactly at that level.  Even on May 31:
Total Public Debt
Subject to Limit        $ 16,699,396
Statutory Debt Limit $ 16,699,421 
 Wow!  The total public debt hasn't changed (up or down) by even a million dollars over the last few months!

UPDATE: A reader points out that Total Public Debt Subject to Limit may not be the same as total outstanding debt.

2 comments:

Arthur said...

If you don't report it does it exist?
Absolutely unchanged is suspicious.

Hal Duston said...

That is "Total Public Debt Subject to Limit", not "Total Public Debt Outstanding" which changes daily. I'm not an accountant, but I'd guess that some accounting mechanism is being used to continue operating the finances without the need to increase the "Statuary Debt Limit". As the "Total Public Debt Outstanding" changes a corresponding change is present in "Unamortized Discount", which is classified as "Debt Not
Subject to Limit". A comment says that "Unamortized Discount represents the discount adjustment on Treasury bills and zero-coupon bonds", but I don't actually know what that means.