The US Government Matches Every Dollar In Tax Revenue With A Dollar In New Debt

Tyler Durden's picture

In our attempts to simplify the comprehension of the ongoing serfdomization of the US population, we would like to present one of the more persuasive charts which the administration would likely be loath to demonstrate. Having collated monthly data from the FMS' Daily Treasury Statement on incremental tax revenues (individual, gross), and new debt issuance, we observe the following rather surprising pattern: since September 2008, or the month when capitalism collapsed, and the Fed, and ever other global Central Bank had to step in as a backstop of last recourse to the western way of life, the US government has undertaken the most peculiar matching program: simply said, for every dollar of individual tax revenue, the government has issued just over one dollar of incremental debt. In other words, in the past two years, tax revenues alone would have proven insufficient by over half to fill the budget gap. In yet other words, the US Treasury is now the functional equivalent of the entire US population and then some, when it comes to keeping the US economy afloat. From another perspective, with an average take down of roughly 50% of each recent auction by Indirect bidders, nearly a quarter (half of half) of US budget deficit needs is funded directly by foreigners. Should (in)formal trade wars escalate, and should the US see an embargo of foreign debt participation, then overnight a quarter of US spending will be unfundable: this includes such critical key expenditures as defense and social security spending. Also, it is important to recall, that of the $3.35 trillion in debt issued over the prior two year period, the Fed has directly (via UST purchases) and indirectly (via MBS purchases, and thus the forced rotation of MBS securities into UST securities for agency holders such as PIMCO) purchased the other half. Thus between foreigners, and the Fed, the US consumer's traditional contribution to funding the US economy has been diluted by half. And unfortunately, as the chart below shows, absent some dramatic deux ex machina, there is no chance this trend in which US debt issuance is the functional equivalent of taxpayer contributions, will ever end.

Another way of visualizing the incremental substitution of the US consumer with debt:

Some technical details:

  • Total net debt issued since September 2008: $3,351 billion (from $10.025TR to $13.376TR)
  • Gross tax receipts since September 2008: $3,185 billion. Note this is not net of refunds. Should one exclude the $660 billion in refunds issued over the same period, the net contribution by taxpayers is just over $2.5 trillion, meaning that the value of each dollar of debt issued is a quarter greater than each dollar in taxpayer revenues.
  • This number would be somewhat offset by Corporate tax revenues, which over the same period amount to $440 billion gross and $230 billion net of corporate tax refunds.

In other words, with each passing day, the material contribution of the labor of Americans to their country is becoming increasingly diluted in the form of paper backed by the full faith and credit of the very country Americans live in. In this environment, it is easy to see why a chance in the tax regime, where the balance between tax revenue contributions and debt funding, is already so precarious, could have dire consequences on the American way of life. Should individual tax contributions fall off a cliff, as many contend, it means that the share of debt a portion of total US funding will have to increase from over 50% to a number materially higher, and the closer it approaches to 100%, the easier it is to make the case that the US economy is nothing but a ponzi system, in the purest definition of the word.

(this analysis completely ignores the toxic debt spiral should interest rates ever increase in the future; Zero Hedge has previously discussed the liquidity horizon to default in various scenarios should prevailing debt interest rates beging to rise. And with average outstanding debt duration slowly but surely increasing, the second the Fed loses hold of Mid and Long-Term interest rates, it is all over - in other words QE will be a necessary staple until such time as the Fed is prepared to go the repudiation/hyperinflation route).

P.S., and a scary thought, if representation is somewhat equivalent to taxation, or, its modern equivalent, deficit funding, does this mean that the seven Fed Board Members have a greater right of representation than all of American society combined? It sure seems that way.

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Cojones's picture

Sure it's a Ponzi, the sad part is noone will believe it was done on purpose. All sheep need a leader.

Sudden Debt's picture

It's just the government going Dutch. 50/50. I don't see a problem here.

Boilermaker's picture

It's a BOGO!  I love that shit!  It's better than expected. It's not a 2-fer!

Whatta's picture

if the government can fund half, why not all? we can all just go on vacation...maybe in the Hamptons with the Blankfeins. i'll bring cheap wine and fried pies.

seriously though...can't this just go on forvever? if we can buy our own debt with monopoly money, why can't foreign governemt keep buying our debt with their own monopoly money? it is endless, and like the Fed guy said at the beginning of this financial meltdown, the Fed's balance sheet is limitless. Whoooppeee, no bad times on my horizon, just clear sailing buying SPY below 105 and selling above 110 forever and ever and ever. Amen.

Fatso's picture

The event horizon just keeps getting pushed back, again and again.  I used to think "well, it'll be good when the bond market calls bullshit on these financial shenanigans and enforce some fiscal discipline".  But now I'm truely afraid of what that's gonna look like.

ConfederateH's picture

Great Avatar Fatso.   It was after Jerry died in 1995 that things really started going downhill.  I think we all need to take some psychadelics to help open our minds so we can cross the threshold into a new space, preferably dark-star. 

It's either that or immediately impeach Obama, because he is in a race against the clock to fuck things up so bad that there can be no return.  He is desperately searching for that czar Nicholas moment.

Monkey Craig's picture

If you ignore the bubbles that the Fed pumps up, you could say that things have been in decline since the JFK assassination. All depends on your perspective.

ConfederateH's picture

No, it definitely went pearshaped after Jerry died.  Ever since then Dead Heads around the world have been stumbling around in a daze chanting this song:

Spanish lady come to me, she lays on me this rose
It rainbow spirals round and round, it trembles and explodes
It left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away
But the heat came round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day

Coming, coming, coming around
Coming around, coming around, in a circle
Coming, coming, coming around
Coming around, coming around, in a circle

Escaping through the lily fields, I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began
There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land's picture

I think it all went DH, when man invented VIAGRA. could of been around same time period as jerry's demise. the dip stick ain't working, fix the fing DIP STICK. not create first aid.

equity_momo's picture

Event horizon hasnt been pushed back , we passed that along time ago. Its just taking a long time to get sucked over the edge and into the void. Its a super slow-mo blackhole in Earth Years for those of us alive during it , but historically speaking , it will be a mere spec.

StychoKiller's picture

Are you aware that as you approach the event horizon of a black hole, that time slows down?

cswjr's picture

Shh!  You're exposing the ace-in-the-hole of econo-physics too early.  "It can't happen to us because, by the laws of nature, we'll all be dead by then."

Oswald Spengler's picture

Homeowners have the option of strategic default. You just hand in your house keys and walk away. The few taxpayers left in this country may decide to hand in their citizenship and let some other sucker support the parasites.

Ultranaut's picture

I am. My credit score will get screwed, but it's not like I could or would borrow more anyway. With the money saved I'm going to pay off my car loan faster while stockpiling PMs and cash. I'd like to be done with the whole credit scam ASAP, and no more banking except through a credit union. No more real estate either, I don't want to ever again tie up my money in such an illiquid investment.

Mad Max's picture

Walking away from the US?  Good luck.  Have you ever heard of "recourse" citizenship?

ZeroPoint's picture

Almost time to get in the bunker. I hope the world will still be here when I open the hatch up again.

Getagrip's picture

Get in the bunker and you loose by default. Time to get active,engage the threat, and reclaim our country! I'm seeing too many talking expatriation and hiding out till it's over. Thank God our founding fathers fought the fight (knowing if they lost, they would hang). How about enduring some hardship and changing the status quo. If we loose, we won't hang-at least, not yet...

Strongbad's picture

Anyone who hides in a bunker or expatriates while patriots are dying is no better than the loyalists who ran to Canada during the revolution. That is not a personal attack on the original commenter for all I know he is just making a joke.


ConfederateH's picture

We should all expatriate and take up citizenship in our respective states.  The federal government has lost all legitimacy, and is worse than the British crown in 1776.  Either we kill the beast, or it will ruin us all.

I was born in Colorado but raised in California, of the two I would prefer Colorado citizenship.

SWRichmond's picture

+1.  Very active politically, and my objective is to save my state, not the "union".  No hard feelings towards my sister states; none should doubt my earnest, heart-felt warm sentiments towards maintaining close ties and friendly relationships with them.  Perhaps we can all work independently towards re-establishing our intended system of cooperation, called the "Constitution."

nevadan's picture

Exactly right CH.  The tenth ammendment exists for exactly this purpose.  State sovereignty is the answer to an overreaching federal government.  The sooner the  general population recognizes this the better.  Nullification is the legitimate tool that the founders gave us to protect against Washington's overreach. 

I'm guessing by your moniker and avatar that you are a fan of Robert E. Lee and may have already seen this quote.  He recognized our future if states rights were subsumed by the federal government as evidenced by this statement in a reply to Lord Acton in 1866,

"... I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it...."

ConfederateH's picture

We could certainly use a few Robert E. Lee's about now.  I'd fight for the Army of Virginia before the US Army, and I've never even been there.  My fear is that like the rest of the entire civil service, our officer corps is so mentally and emotionally tied to their government retirements that there will be no officers of sufficient honor and stature to stand behind their respective states if the moment of truth ever comes.

nevadan's picture

It will be desperate times indeed if that question needs an answer.  I should like to think that there are sufficient patriots in the armed forces that will step into the gap if necessary, as unthinkable as that circumstance may be. 

A better solution I think lies with the state governors and legislatures.  There is some evidence that this may actually be happening with a movement to assert state sovereignty using the ninth and tenth amendments.  A majority of the states have passed resolutions regarding state sovereignty and there are currently six states that have bills pending in their government's to establish a commission or committee to review the constitutionality of federal legislation with a view toward a nullification if they are found unconstitutional.   Additionally, the recent ballot initiative in Missouri and the actions of several state Attorneys General regarding ObamaCare bear this out as well.  Ultimately the people can simply refuse to play the game the feds are running.  This will require leadership from state politicians incentivized by their electorates to make a stand on their behalf.  In my opinion Arizona governor Brewer is missing a golden opportunity to do this now regarding the border issue.  She is the local commander of the Arizona National Guard and as such is authorized to call out forces for intrastate defense.  Doing so would bring this issue to the forefront.

Preservation of the Union was the essential issue of the Civil War which, stated another way, was to establish if the individual states were indeed sovereign or if the federal government was the final arbiter of the law.  States rights for all practical purposes died at Appomattox.  It remains to be seen if they can be resurrected. 

No one understood this issue of states rights more than General Lee, who declined an offer to command the Northern Army in favor of his home state (which he regarded as "his country").  In the link above to his correspondence with Lord Acton he stated his position vey well as to the importance of states rights and lived to see his opinion borne out by actions of the federal government after the war.  Shortly before his death he emphasized this opinion and his regrets that his opinion had been proven true.


"...if I had forseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no sir, not by me.  Had I seen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand."

For more information on the tenth amendment movement



ConfederateH's picture

Robert E. Lee has always been my favorite American, and he did get it.  McClellan, Grant, Sherman, Burnsides could never even start to compare to Lee, Jackson, Longstreet and Stuart.

Crunch time will be when the dollar loses it's reserve currency status, and the federal government cannot pay its entitlements, salaries and pensions.  The states will tell those still employed to stop paying the fica withholdings, and the feds will go to the states demanding money, and the states will not comply, and then it will get really interesting.  

SWRichmond's picture

"The government of the U.S. has any and all rights which they choose to enforce in war - to take their lives, their homes, their land, their everything...war is simply unrestrained by the the persistent secessionist, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better..."

- W. T. Sherman


Later, Sherman was sent to the West to subdue native Americans:

"The more Indians we can kill this year the fewer we will need to kill the next, because the more I see of the Indians the more convinced I become that they must either all be killed or be maintained as a species of pauper. Their attempts at civilization is ridiculous..."

- W. T. Sherman's picture

sorry cutey, but Colorado has been California......ed.

malek's picture

I think you're right.
Ahm, which states have not been California...ed, up 'til now?

Sudden Debt's picture

There isn't no shame of leaving your country and going back when everything gets better.

I would commend to every America to collect the things they have, and ship to Europe. Once the storm in America is over in about 10 years, you can go back and buy up land enough to start your own country.

It's now pretty much clear that America has lost the recession war. And the greedy Europeans did the right thing by keeping their fingers on their wallets. Sure they have Greece, Spain... but those where never rich to begin with. Everybody got a black eye in this war. But America also lost it's leggs and a arm.

tmosley's picture

Eh, Americans weren't much more than English expatriots.

I work with a guy who fled Iraq because Saddam murdered half of his family.  Was he a coward for leaving?  Sure, he could have stayed, and likely died (Saddam actually sent agents into the US to monitor the guy, along with many other prominent Iraqi refugees), and what would it have gained?

Not everyone is a fighter.  Removing yourself from the tax base is a good, patriotic thing to do when your country is going down the shitter.  My friend was a doctor and clinical researcher--one of the world's foremost experts on Pseudomonas, so he denied a lot of money to Saddam's government by leaving.  Expatriots can also support those who remain in country either by remittances, by lobbying foreign governments for aid, or by purchasing weapons and supplies.  For example, the Irish who came to America were instrumental in the Irish fight against British dominance, and eventually helped to gain Ireland sovereignty over MOST of their island again.  Shin Fein probably never would have gotten off of the ground without foreign money, and certainly wouldn't have lasted for 30+ years as it did (and does).

ZackLo's picture

Little do they know that they have no place to run.....yeah our country is fucked up but, if you look at it, america turning around is probably the only hope for the world, unless the young chinese actually stand up and force their government out of tyranical state. whos going to stand up against the banking oligopoly? europe? britain?  I'm pretty sure it's all eye's on our country now...we are pretty much the only ones that can turn this global ship around...but, people need to call they're congressman and senators...not just call them get at least 20-30 people each person knows to call. Just found out my senator here in Florida is going to work for jpm after he resigns,  about broke my monitor.I'm going to leave him A nice message about how he's going to join the institution that is destroying this country and he'll fit his spot at the den of vipers and theives. (I'm sure he knows)

but seriously if they get blasted at all levels they will listen....article 1 section 10 people, tell them to support hr 4248. I watched 2 people running for the florida senate give a speech 15 minutes long each and not thank the founding fathers...and they said not one word about our constitution...I know florida politics are bad and half the people in this state are brain dead from OC's but damn! I sometimes ask myself what would our founding fathers would say if they were here to see the sad batch of criminals we have now or the thousands of people at the FHA building begging for the handout....

SWRichmond's picture

If it's so easy to smuggle drugs into the U.S., maybe smugglers should smuggle guns into China.

ZeroPoint's picture

I am afraid the battle is already lost. I would only expatriate if the US became completely facist. And with the Patriot Acts I and II, we have begun that slide.

It seems now any law can be ignored, any right violated, any lie told in the name of national security. Iraq has WMDs. The BP oil spill is contained. The dollar has value.

Individual people can be reasoned with. Groups of people who in the name of profit & ideaology have wrecked the economic system cannot. This isn't 1776 anymore. The armed forces would crush any resistance soundly, if the police do not first.

Now if you want to talk about rebuilding a better system after this one falls, that I think would be a more useful use of kilobytes.

SWRichmond's picture

The armed forces would crush any resistance soundly, if the police do not first.

There are nowhere near enough of them to accomplish that. 

MachoMan's picture

the mexican border is a warzone...  and many, many miles inland...  arizona isn't passing laws because it's racist...  it's passing laws because it's scared as hell and it's losing/lost control.

Aside from the fact that local police forces are getting cut from the budget across the country... 

Who else is from Prussia's picture

Exactly! Read stories of how quick the Los Angeles police found out they were so outnumbered unprepared and outgunned during the riots.

Remember the scene in Dr.Zhivago with the worn torn soldiers coming back and meeting the replacements on the road? for the officers who wanted to continue the fight? that's what would happen here for the soldiers who would choose to fight against their own countrymen.

Variance Doc's picture


"The armed forces would crush any resistance soundly, if the police do not first."


Yep, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, the armed forces crushed the resistance.

it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

I agree.

Do not forget, our military is almost completely US citizens, and the police the same.  They some have allegiance to our "government", but not so much that they would start a massive shoot on citizens, except for rogue military or police.  Some have idealism and others are pragmatic enough to know who will ultimately win.  Any time spent with or in military, you will see a cross section of society, not perfectly proportional, but representative.  Some psycho/sociopaths and some "true believers", but there is enough pervasive attitude of the “antiauthority” in our current society (that is also in the military)  to really jam up any nationwide event using the military.  Also, they do not trust Obama…or any other politician.  They do not fully trust their own leaders.  War takes off the shine. They can see through any bribery or threat as probably undeliverable.


My guess, splintering will cause separate "gangs" that control a localized area, but not a national organization....barring nukes.   


RockyRacoon's picture

Blackwater (Xe) could give a damn who it is paid to shoot.  They showed up in New Orleans after Katrina and were not there on vaca.

Dr. Sandi's picture

10-4 on that one, Mr. Cool Hat guy.

It's important to remember that a terrifying number of the Xe goons aren't from the U.S. They're from wherever Xe can find a lot of trained soldiers who work cheap.

Central and South Americans, for the most part, won't give a dog's dick if they're shooting Americans. A lot of them would probably prefer it.

Real Estate Geek's picture

We'll shoot back.  And some of us are pretty damn good at it.

it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

You are probably right, Dr. Sandi.  But I was discussing a large USA military in country of USA doing a "round-up" or whatever intervention.  Mercs have many socipaths, crazies, rogues ect. in a mercenary group.  The military is not all mercenary, there are "true believers" and "I just want a paycheck and school tuition if I survive this."  There are all kinds.

it aint paranoia if they really are out too harm you's picture

Late entry.   Good point.  I was suggesting in a large scale operation against civilians, there will be breakoff and splinter groups.  I have no illussions about military personnel or police.   I have never studied Kent state.  Reading "You & the Police," I find his conclusions accurate.  ALWAYS try to avoid "rouges"

"Peace Officer--great men and women, Intimidating Cop--can be common, Rogue Cop--generally, only the courtroom can help you here"

I can argue about how many percent each of the above catagories, but there is a spectrum of "types" in the military, too. 


I had 8 years active duty, have been a military brat, and now have daily contact with military members and /or family.  I HAVE NO ILLUSIONS, but the TPTB's prior record predicting  outcomes of a plan involving the military rarely goes as planned.  Chaos can be a friend.


Anyway, this is such a late post, no one will read it.  The main purpose for writing it was for me to sharpen my mind and sharpen my very new skills of posting on this site.


Malek, you provoked me to think. thanks.

fajensen's picture

Or maybe like in Chechnya? The US army may turn out to only have sensibilities at shooting at muslims since they have sponsors who have Oil; white, extremist secessionists might be a completely different story! Like Waco; The Authorties certainly did not mind making an example out of that lot.

Henry Chinaski's picture

50% down is a bad deal in a no down pmt world.  The value of our govt will appreciate and we will flip it and make a fortune.

Rusty_Shackleford's picture


Thanks for that chuckle.

It could be the start of a new TV network:

DGTV (Debt and Government TV)

docj's picture

Uncle Sugar borrowing against his VISA card to pay his mortgage.

Yeah, this will end well.

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

Doc.. more like taking a cash advance on the Visa to pay down the Mastercard.. :)