Your debt at the end of fiscal 2004

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 34


dollar-exchange-rate-544949_1280The 2004 fiscal year ended Thursday, September 30th, the same day as the first presidential debates. This is the day when, as a not-for-profit organization, the government’s books must be brought to a balance of zero, the same number as the points scored by Bush in the debates.

Up until this last day of the month, the Bush administration was doing a pretty good job of holding down its continuous borrowing. For the last two months, they’ve been trying to stall reaching the debt limit. On Wednesday, September 29th, the national debt stood at $7.352 trillion, only slightly higher than its close at the end of August of $7.351 trillion. But then, on the last day of the month, the U.S. Treasury reported a $28 billion increase to $7.379 trillion.

The national debt limit, the amount that the administration cannot borrow beyond without congressional approval to increase the ceiling, currently stands at $7.384 trillion. And there has not been a peep from the media, watchdog groups, or anyone, but there is going to be a presidential debate on the economy soon.

The big question is why isn’t John Kerry using this information? The answer seems to be that he intends to do the same, that he is nothing more than another borrowholic. After all, Senator Kerry is a member of the Senate Finance Committee so he should know exactly what’s going on.

With bickering light, Congress always raises the debt ceiling. Putting a limit on borrowing is a joke, but the last time this happened the ceiling was $6.4 trillion. That means that George W. Bush has been responsible for running up the national debt exactly $979 billion since May 23, 2003.

That’s not the only record. In fiscal 2003, Bush ran up the debt $555 billion and now, in fiscal 2004, he has exceeded that record by running up the debt $596 billion.

Several other things are important to understand at this point in time.

First of all, now that we’ve entered a new fiscal year and a new budget, the Bush administration can snatch money coming in from income taxes and us it elsewhere. Whatever the reasons for finding it necessary to borrow so much money, that lust can now be satisfied by shorting other programs until the debt ceiling is raised.

This means a lot of broken promises, but Bush is accustomed to that and we should be too.

Secondly, there’s about $50 billion that is not considered “subject to the debt limit.” This is money, liquid negotiable assets, that is held in real trust funds – the only way a not-for-profit organization can legally carry cash from one fiscal year to another. It gives Bush a little breathing room as far as the debt limit is concerned.

Most of this $50 billion is held by the government’s own Thrift Savings Plan, but you can view all 14 of these real trusts on the accompanying chart taken from the full list of trusts for 2003:

You will notice that this totals more than $50 billion. That is because the Thrift Savings Plan allows participants several choices of where their money is invested. The majority chose to let Barclay Bank of Great Britain invest their money in the stock market, but some pick all or part of their money (they’re allowed to invest 10 % of their salaries) to go into federal Treasury investment. If they choose the bonds, then they’re invested in the national debt just as is our surplus Social Security money from payroll taxes except theirs are the real thing instead of the nonmarketable type scam bonds and double taxation that we get.

It’s also interesting to note that the Washington Post recently reported that the government expects the Thrift Savings Plan to reach $100 billion in the next couple of years.

The Thrift Savings Plan is the 1987 brainchild of then Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush and not difficult to see where Dubya got the idea of “personal accounts” for entry level workers. A plan that would be a disaster if carried out the way Bush intends it, or at least mumbled something about the last time he ran for office.

Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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