Government Lies: No Debt Growth for 40 Days

In one more instance of government lying, the Treasury Department claimed that no debt growth took place since March 13.

We all know how it works.

If Veterans Affairs has a legal obligation to provide for troopers on a wait list within a certain amount of time, the bureaucrats will simply create another list and let many veterans languish on it. Unless there are consequences to this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior it will be used to evade the force of the laws and regulations that the government workers find difficult or undeniable.

So likewise, if we have a debt ceiling that hasn’t been raised yet, our government bureaucrats will find some way to evade the law in a nominal fashion. It is pretty obvious that, at least from March 13 to April 22 (and perhaps continuing to today), the Treasury Department has found their own version of a secret list for calculating debt.

According to CNS News, “40 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000.”

According to the Daily Treasury Statement for Wednesday, April 22, which was published by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday, April 23, that portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000—for the 40th day in a row.

$18,112,975,000,000 is about $25 million below the current legal debt limit of $18,113,000,080,959.35.

Table III-C on the Daily Treasury Statement for April 22 shows that the federal debt subject to the legal limit began April at $18,112,975,000,000, began the day of April 22 at $18,112,975,000,000 and closed the day of April 22 at $18,112,975,000,000.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has even “explained” what the Treasury Department is doing in a letter to Congress. (CNS News has extensive quotations from him if you want to try to wade through it.) But the bottom line is that Lew is juggling the books in order to dance around the legal limits.

The net effect of the Treasury’s actions is that although the publicly held debt of the government continues to fluctuate—as the Treasury redeems maturing debt held by the public and issues new debt held by the public—the overall debt subject to the limit set by Congress closes each business day at $18,112,975,000,000.

As of March 13, according to the Daily Treasury Statement, the federal debt held by the public was $13,083,880,000,000. In the intervening period since then, the debt held by the public rose as $13,113,626,000,000 as of April 3. But by April 22—with the April 15 tax deadline passing and federal revenues surging—the debt held by the public had dropped back to $13,066,633,000,000.

Yet despite the $29,746,000,000 increase in the debt held by the public between March 13 and April 3, and the decline of $46,993,000,000 between April 3 and April 22, on all days from March 13 to April 22 the Treasury reported that the total public debt subject to the limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000.

This is a good example why a balanced budget amendment will never work with our current corrupt government. No matter what rules you make, unless you are willing and able to enforce them, bureaucrats will always find a way to dance around the requirements.