Comparing Changes In Quarterly US Debt And Deficits

Tyler Durden's picture

Now that America is on record spending autopilot and nobody cares or knows just what the 2010 deficit pattern of the government will look like, and, more importantly, the debt issuance, we have compiled historical quarterly data comparing the change in US deficit and debt data. As the chart below demonstrates, over the past 10 quarters, on average the US had added $400 billion in debt each quarter, while increasing its deficit by about $275 billion, with debt issuance surpassing any given period's deficit by almost 50%. To be sure, the data in the debt change is skewed by the outliers of Q3 and Q4, which were not so much an increase in term debt, but a massive issuance in short-term debt holdings, as the entire world scrambled to place their money into ultra-secure 30 Day and other Bill securities. As a result of these two debt outlier points, the US is now stuck with rolling over half a trillion in short-term debt on a monthly basis. Either way, it is obvious that it will likely be impossible for the US to trim it quarterly debt issuance materially below $400 billion per quarter, and will likely see this number increasing as tax receipts continue declining. Additionally as quarterly deficits are unable to drop below $300 billion (note the Q2 '10 data excludes June deficit data), once interest rates start climbing, look for these numbers to surge once ever greater portions of the US deficit go to simply pay the interest on the federal debt. Bottom line, with the US expected to generate a deficit of about $1.5 trillion in the next fiscal year, the napkin estimate says that the US will likely incur between $2 and $2.5 trillion in debt over the next year. And now you know even better why the administration is now spending money with no blueprint whatsoever.