ILSM sends a link to the GAO’s audit of the Public debt:
Federal debt managed by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) comprises debt held by the public and debt held by certain federal government accounts, the latter of which is referred to as intragovernmental debt holdings. As of September 30, 2007 and 2006, outstanding gross federal debt managed by the bureau totaled $8,993 and $8,493 billion, respectively. The increase in gross federal debt of $500 billion during fiscal year 2007 was due to an increase in gross intragovernmental debt holdings of $294 billion and an increase in gross debt held by the public of $206 billion. As Figure 1 illustrates, both intragovernmental debt holdings and debt held by the public have steadily increased since fiscal year 2003. The primary reason for the increases in intragovernmental debt holdings is the annual surpluses in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and Military Retirement Fund. The increases in debt held by the public are due primarily to total federal spending exceeding total federal revenues. As of September 30, 2007, gross debt held by the public totaled $5,049 billion and gross intragovernmental debt holdings totaled $3,944 billion.
During fiscal year 2007, interest expense incurred totaled $433 billion, interest expense on debt held by the public was $239 billion, and $194 billion was interest incurred for intragovernmental debt holdings.
As of September 30, 2007 and 2006, gross debt held by the public totaled $5,049 billion and $4,843 billion, respectively (see Figure 1), an increase of $206 billion. The borrowings and repayments of debt held by the public increased from fiscal year 2006 to 2007. After Treasury took into account the increased issuances of State and Local Government Series securities, Treasury decided to finance the remaining current operations using more short-term securities.
A quick aside… what the heck is with this administration? It seems whenever interest rates get really low, they run away from the opportunity to lock in those low rates. Remembers how they retired the 30 year bond when rates were about as low as they could go, and brought the 30 year bond back when rates went up? What sort of idiotic behavior is this?
Anyway, ILSM notes that the budget deficit for the fiscal year ending in September is now projected at “just $163 billion”.
ILSM raises a question I cannot answer… how can the debt rise by $500 billion, debt held by the public rise by over $200 billion, and the deficit be $162 billion?