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U.S. Government Spending and Debt by the Numbers

Friday April 6th, 2012   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 9:03am PDT   •  

Via the Associated Press, all values below are in millions of U.S. dollars (because apparently, to save ink, the AP cut them off. We’ve added the dollar signs and better punctuation):

Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

  • Total public debt subject to limit April 4: $15,574,371
  • Statutory debt limit: $16,394,000
  • Total public debt outstanding, April 4: $15,617,723

Just a quick reality check – that last figure is really $15,617,723,000,000, or if you want to hear that value approximated in English, it’s over 15.6 trillion dollars.

  • Interest fiscal year 2012 through February: $99,386
  • Interest same period 2011: $94,459

Even though its interest rates are dirt cheap (near 0% for short term Treasuries!), the amount of interest the U.S. government has paid out in the first five months of its fiscal year has increased by $4,927,000,000 (over 4.9 billion dollars) compared to what it paid in the first five months of its previous fiscal year.

  • Deficit fiscal year 2012 through February: $580,830
  • Deficit same period 2011: $641,264

This values are more promising, in that they reflect a stronger economy now than in 2011, along with the effect of spending cuts that were negotiated last summer. Combined, these changes have reduced the government’s deficit through the first five months of its current fiscal year by $60,434,000,000 (over 60.4 billion dollars) compared to the same period in the government’s previous fiscal year.

  • Receipts fiscal year 2012 through February: $893,169
  • Receipts same period 2011: $869,003

Here, we find that the U.S. government has successfully collected $24,166,000,000 (just under 24.2 billion dollars) more through this point in its 2012 fiscal year than it did through the same point in its 2011 fiscal year. This is a confirmation that the U.S. economy is performing better now than it did then.

  • Outlays fiscal year 2012 through February: $1,473,999
  • Outlays same period 2011: $1,510,266

This is where we really see the effect of the budget deal from last summer, as the U.S. government’s spending has fallen by $36,267,000,000 (over 36.2 billion dollars) through this point in fiscal year 2012, as compared to the same period of time for fiscal year 2011.

We should note however that this positive reduction in the U.S. federal government’s spending will diminish over time, since President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year (2013) breaks last summer’s spending agreement.

Featured Image:
U.S. Treasury Department

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April 2012