Tag Archive: Public Debt

Congress And The Ever-Rising Debt Limit




” Congress has the constitutional prerogative to control spending, and it does so through the debt ceiling, which sets the allowable limit of federal government borrowing. The first chart shows all the times that the debt limit has been raised since 1980, which includes 18 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, and seven times under George W. Bush. Most recently, President Obama raised the debt limit for his fifth time, to $16.69 trillion, $305 billion above the previous statutory limit, which is exponentially greater than when it first reached $1 trillion about 30 years ago in 1982.

The debt limit applies to federal debt held by the public and by the government’s own accounts, also known as intergovernmental debt, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Civil Service Retirement accounts. Of the $16.699 trillion in outstanding debt subject to limit, roughly $11.9 trillion is held by the public, and about $4.8 trillion is held by government accounts.

Simply raising the debt ceiling alone does nothing to address underlying drivers of our debt problem. The persistence of federal budget deficits has led to sustained growth in debt, thus requiring the government to issue increasing amounts of debt to the public. The second chart shows the growing portion of federal debt held by the public. Here are some key observations: “


Read On











Daily Quote 12/23

George Washington



” No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable. “

How Much Do We Owe?

Too Damn Much  


  “Have you ever wondered how much we as taxpayers actually owe because of commitments politicians have made on our behalf? Turns out, the answer is not as simple as you might think.

The place to start is with a report put out annually by the U.S. Treasury. There I learned that the federal government officially recognizes an outstanding debt of $17.5 trillion. This amount consists of $10.2 trillion in government debt held by the public, plus pension and retirement benefits owed to federal employees.”


Even these numbers are deceptive …


   “So let’s see if I’ve got this right. I’ve been paying Social Security taxes for some 45 years or so and the federal government doesn’t officially admit that it owes me a dime. The same is true for 45 years of Medicare taxes. But it does admit that it owes pension benefits and post-retirement medical benefits to federal workers. As a taxpayer, I’m liable for all the promises the government has made to its own employees. But federal workers are not liable (necessarily) for all the promises the government has made to me”


Our Social Security and Medicare isn’t guaranteed but federal employee’s retirement benefits are …


 ” If today’s seniors get everything that’s been promised to them, they can expect to receive $12.8 trillion in Social Security and Medicare benefits beyond the estimated taxes and premiums that will be collected to fund those programs.”


Hold your nose and read the rest . It isn’t pretty