This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

US Posts Two Month Combined Surplus As Debt Rises By $137 Billion

Tyler Durden's picture


Moments ago, and a few hours ahead of the president's State of the Union speech, the FMS announced (with a 20 minutes early leak), that in January the deficit of the US government was in fact a surplus of some $2.883 billion, better than the expected $2 billion deficit. This was the first January surplus since 2008, and was an improvement on the already impressive $1.191 billion deficit from December, which in turn brings the total fiscal year to date deficit to $290 billion. On the surface this would be great news as it indicates that tax hikes are having an impact on the US budget surplus, but of course, a quick glance below the surface reminds us that January was the month during which the Treasury was forced to raid the various government retirement funds to fund operations, and otherwise operate under the debt ceiling, which was only hiked in the last days of the month. And another glance indicates something fishier: while December and January combined resulted in a surplus of some $1.7 billion on the book, a quick glance at the total US debt over the period, shows an increase of some $137 billion in the same time period (or at least through February 4, when the accurate debt picture was once again revealed). In other words, while the US government was arguably generating funds from operations over the past two months and thus did not need a single penny in outside funding, debt soared.

We are confident that Obama will be delighted to take credit for the former in a few hours, although we are not holding our breath on him explaining the latter, not explaining where all this debt went. Who knows: maybe JPM merely lent out their VaR calculating spreadsheet to the US treasury. It is not as if either of those two entities would lie to anyone.

Finally, since the start of tax refund issuance by the IRS had been delayed by several weeks, don't expect the surplus picture to repeat itself any time soon. Maybe, ever.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:44 | 3237522 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

Their level of corruption has become epic.

Obama can't explain VaR, NPV, IRR, or any of the other FIN 101 shit.

Oh and one more thing...  I love the selective leaks of data.  This is something one would expect from a high-school lunch gossip troupe.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:46 | 3237542 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Too complex for Obama to understand.  The teleprompter president.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:05 | 3237591 Dear Infinity
Dear Infinity's picture

If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesnt belong in your face. These pseudo intellectuals have about as much spine as a jellyfish, these so called leaders of the free world. I have been dollar cost averaging the dip in physical wealth, and for any ZHers looking to find the best priced phyz, you may find the website useful.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:10 | 3237605 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

The check's in the mail?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:16 | 3237614 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

MSM media begins to realize that TARP was/is a major fraud/lie/crime:

Did the teutonic moneylending pontiff resign because evidence will surface that the Bank of the Vatican is the one responsible for the financial rape of the USA and the rest of the world?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3237818 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

As always, the MSM protects us from the past.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 18:23 | 3238056 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Yeah, that was everything about Vatican, nothing to do with your friends from chosen tribe occuping all banking highest positions, not to mention governments.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:11 | 3237607 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

OK....  ES is "leaking" down to its VWAP.

Any bets on what happens in the last 30 minutes or regulation time?

I lost track of how many time-outs they have left in the game.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:22 | 3237656 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

"In other words, while the US government was arguably generating funds from operations over the past two months and thus did not need a single penny in outside funding, debt soared." Well, of course it soared - it's not about surpluses, it's about monetizing it.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:46 | 3237545 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Sniff, sniff.

Is something burning?

Oh, I see. Tim Geithner's pants are on fire!

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:24 | 3237663 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Let's not make any mistakes here.

If you raise SS taxes 120B this year, and the millionaire's tax of 60B this year (which will soon be erased by the Sandy pork of 60B) AND we have a nice solid sequester of $85B this year, that does look an awful lot like $205B of deficit reduction.

At First Glance.

At second glance that is 205B off GDP and that will reduce activity and tax revs.  So we won't get 205B off the deficit.

But we likely will get 100B or so off.  But then next year we get the next 100B of the 10 year sequester plus whatever spending cuts come from the March 27 Continuing Resolution and the direction for GDP growth is down, for quite some time.  Same should be so for tax revs.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:08 | 3237597 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Its funny, you think that they have no clothes on, and they keep coming off

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:19 | 3237611 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

"Too complex for Obama to understand. "

Obama understands everything. You are a fool if you think otherwise. He knows exactly what is going on, and where he will take us. If there is anything that bothers me more about todays situation in Amerika, it is this......Do not underestimate your enemies.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:59 | 3237750 hannah
hannah's picture

mass - i understand where you are coming from stating that obama isnt stupid but the real issue is that obama isnt in charge. he isnt 'planning' this shit. his masters are....he really doesnt understand, not because of intelligence, but because he wouldnt take the time to understand all the arcane financial stuff.


he just does what he is told.....

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:25 | 3237825 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Kennedy understood.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 23:05 | 3239206 debtandtaxes
debtandtaxes's picture


Wed, 02/13/2013 - 05:10 | 3239735 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Absolutely correct.

Almost as annoying as the sheeple's insistence not to know is this dribble of "their idiots" or "if they would only do this." Oh please! They know EXACTLY what they are doing even if they don't know what is going to happen. And they don't care.

These are criminals, are they not?


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:14 | 3237783 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Fishy data from Da Gooberment? NAH, I can't believe it!

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:42 | 3237524 Iocosus
Iocosus's picture

EUR/USD declined less than 5 pips. Lol. The irony is that the numbers will inevitably be revised downward.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:45 | 3237528 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I remember the good old days when I could believe nothing that came out of the U.S.S.R. Now I can't believe anything that comes out of the U.S.A.

Sadly we ain't seen nuttin' yet.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:46 | 3237539 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Imagine Obammy with a Lenin Goatee... or a Stalin mustache?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:25 | 3237832 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

No thanks.

It's bad enough as it is.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:47 | 3237540 Manthong
Manthong's picture

We all must be delusional.

U.S. posts $3 billion budget surplus for January

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 19:56 | 3238426 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

I don't understand what is so strange and good at the same time. My budget says I will lose 200 bln and really I lost only 197 bln, that's good news? oh yeah expectation was 200 so it must be good

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:46 | 3237544 Cdad
Cdad's picture

The last act of the politcal class in a crumbling dynasty is that of looting the treasury.  This is all that we are seeing right now.  Nothing more or less.


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:50 | 3237716 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Nice to see your flaming asteroid/meteoroid around ZH Cdad. :)

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:43 | 3237532 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

"Listen, when I say that it's night does not matter that the sun is up. It's night time and that is all you need to know" - Obama

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:44 | 3237535 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I will deduct my cut from my taxes.  I'm sure they won't mind.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:44 | 3237536 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Far be it for the Treasury to actually cancel and auction. The bonds have already been pledged as collateral in the IRS market.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:48 | 3237549 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Nobody believes anything Obama says anymore. Not even the Obamaphone lady. He might as well give his speech in the bathroom mirror.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:50 | 3237558 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture


Deal with it.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:52 | 3237562 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

Bernank = SquareRoot(-1);

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:10 | 3237606 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

At least (-1)**0.5 has some utility. Bernank not so much.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:12 | 3237610 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

e^(Pi*i) = -1

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 05:17 | 3239739 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Not quite.

In Orwell's 1984, 2 + 2 = 5 is not just a lie, but a lie that you MUST believe.

They don't just want you to say it, but to believe it as well.

That is what the camps will be for, amongst other things.


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:51 | 3237559 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

I have a fantastic idea. Why doesn't Obama just have the Fed print up enough money to cover all of our taxes? Why pay taxes at all? All they have to do is print money!!! Woohoo!!! We could print a big fucking surplus!! Happy days, my friends.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:04 | 3237587 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

I use my 3D printer to print up some Steaks. Good stuff.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:14 | 3237619 adr
adr's picture

I'm pretty sure you could use pink slime in a 3D printer. So yes you can print steaks.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3237817 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

I think I ate one of your steaks at Applebees the other night.


And they should just print away taxes as well.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 23:08 | 3239220 debtandtaxes
debtandtaxes's picture

Hell, why not just hand every man, woman and child $1million in newly printed dollars!? Then we'd all be rich!

Hey, wait...hmmmmmmmmmm.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:07 | 3237595 walküre
walküre's picture

Why pay taxes at all?

Your tax payments sanctifies their fraud. That's why. Of course they could just fund themselves as they please but where would be their control over us in such a "society"?

You have to pay taxes or you go to jail. To cheat on your taxes is an act of high treason unless you're connected to the very top like Turbo Timmy.

They make the rules for all of us. Going underground is the only way to survive the torture they inflict on us every day and night.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:09 | 3237602 riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

that doesnt hapen until 1 year before his term ends.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:12 | 3237604 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

That is an excellent question. As far as I can see, you can force the use of a currency in the economy by demanding it be used to pay taxes (under threat of force). I believe a very wise English king used this method to promote the use of tally sticks. If they didn't forcibly collect taxes in dollars and printed the money they paid out, no one would use (nor accept) dollars. Tax collection with fiat is just an underhanded way to put people under the threat of force to use the currency. Printing and putting a gun to people's heads to accept it would be too obvious.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:17 | 3237627 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

"I have a fantastic idea. Why doesn't Obama just have the Fed print up enough money to cover all of our taxes?"

Because he could care two rat's asses about you or your brothers whom will soon suffer greatly.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:48 | 3237709 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Bloody fucking helll!!! This is just another smoke-and-mirrors bait-and-switch tactic so that he can blubber on about how well everything is and we need to ramp up the rate of going into debt even further RIGHT NOW.

Market sure is acting funny again today with laughable volume trading again.  Makes me think tomorrow will be a big move one way or the other.  The recent trend says up so I'm out and waiting, but I'll go out on a limb and predict a big move tomorrow following the full print ahead speech tonight.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:51 | 3237563 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Thank god everything is fixed, I was starting to worry.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:11 | 3237565 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

dupicate not my fault, blame fully falls on ZH for going down when i pressed send

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:53 | 3237567 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

even though i dont watch much TV anymore, i do like how my flat screen looks on the wall, thus i will not watch the Liar tonight as i may break the flatscreen TV

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:33 | 3237673 e-recep
e-recep's picture

i feel the same way whenever i see that corporate profits chart.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:54 | 3237569 Nid
Nid's picture what happens when the IRS starts issuins 2012 Tax refunds and Credits?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:55 | 3237570 Nid
Nid's picture what happens when the IRS starts issuins 2012 Tax refunds and Credits?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:23 | 3237661 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

No one here on ZH files their taxes.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:59 | 3237576 Blankenstein
Blankenstein's picture

Lloyd is on CNBC trying to tell us everything is okay.  Oh and he is growing a beard.  

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:05 | 3237592 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

I think LLLLLLLoyd just had a meeting with Mr. Dorner.

In fact, I'm 99% sure he has been posting on ZH.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:00 | 3237579 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture



More to spend on worthless shit.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:02 | 3237582 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Acceleration of income into 2012 and the final estimated tax submission date of 1/15 probably had more to do with it than anything else.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:12 | 3237612 adr
adr's picture

Can I claim the opposite on my tax return, that all my income was actually a loss and therefore the government owes me all of what they would have taken in taxes.

How the fuck do you increase debt, but have a surplus?

Oh yeah I forgot, publicy traded corporations do it all the time. They have billions in debt but made $125 million during a quarter. Even though they actually took out even more loans, they were recorded on a seperate ledger. Sometes debt is actually revenue.

I guess that is how I aced all my math classes but was always somehow wrong in economics. I guess they need to add Bernankanomics as a course so you can understand Wall Street math.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:14 | 3237613 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:40 | 3237688 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Food stamps will surpass 50 million. 

Yes we can!!!!!

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:43 | 3237697 SkottFree
SkottFree's picture

Just think ahead to April when that number will be adjusted down to a -2.8 Billion but no one will publish the truth only more rosy data!

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:43 | 3237699 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Whatever Tyler... But isn't this like 'the new normal' or whatever?

Obama is like Lincoln and at least he isn't bush so I think you should be like...Patriotic or something and just let him do what he feels is best for us.

Know what I'm sayin?

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:52 | 3237727 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

The $137B went to Wall Street bonuses.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 16:57 | 3237739 Super Broccoli
Super Broccoli's picture

nearly 3 trillions in surplus ????

they over-raided pension funds ????

what a bunch of pathetic losers !

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:05 | 3237769 Mad Muppet
Mad Muppet's picture


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:08 | 3237775 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Why do they even make a pretense of accounting?

$85 Billion per month in FED QE to the banks, I'm amazed they are even marking the debit column.

Would have made a lot more sense to have a debt jubilee or send every taxpayer $1 Million to stimulate the economy but that wouldn't have rewarded the banksters here and abroad and maintained the debt slavery for us Plebeians, eh?


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:29 | 3237840 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

They are actually buying all the bonds outstanding. Soon most every dollar of American interest paid will flow through the Fed.  $20 trillion at 4% is $800 billion. Maybe thats how they plan to close the deficit and erase the debt? It actually makes more sense than paying private bankers.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:13 | 3237782 misnomer
misnomer's picture

The fact that the very first sentence in that report is "since January 1st, 2013 was a holiday,outlays for military active duty and retirement,
Veterans' benefits, and Supplemental Security Income were moved to December 31, 2012."

So, in fact, it just comes down to creative accounting, which is the modus operandi of all government.  Shuffle around the numbers until you get the answer you want.


Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:14 | 3237787 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

HOORAY! We're all doing so well now! I'm all 'OMG-in' !

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:19 | 3237801 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Finally, since the start of tax refund issuance by the IRS had been delayed by several weeks

Which is why I didn't my taxes ASAP.  Already got my refund.  Wanted to make sure i got it before the govt goes insolvent/fails.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:26 | 3237830 L_Conquistador
L_Conquistador's picture

I wonder how many people took advantage of the 2010 election (a) to convert an IRA to a Roth and (b) to recognize 1/2 of the the ordinary income in each of 2011 and 2012.   My wife and I did, and I wrote my biggest check ever to the IRS, on Jan. 15, 2013 (4th Q '12 estimated payment).  

This money will never be taxed on the back-end (so they say).

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:28 | 3237839 L_Conquistador
L_Conquistador's picture

In other news, the FMS announced - just in time for the SOTU - that NK did not test a nuke, but if the did, that Gangam Style video was the reason.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 19:02 | 3238214 trendybull459
trendybull459's picture injoy your last freedoms,read why in the near future you all will be leaving under much worth leader that Stalin was,Elite should prepare testoments,your last days counted FED,prepare for changes,working for change!Because most of you worthening midlle class conditions,you are blind in your greedy habits to leave some change to poor and middle,then you will loose all like it was many times in hystory under the New Order which not you,others will do very soon!

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 19:28 | 3238306 nmewn
nmewn's picture

An expanding (good) contraction (bad)...its absolutely Orwellian.

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 21:02 | 3238647 crtune
crtune's picture

This sort of bizarre situation can come from looking at the current deficit via the governernment operations, which likely DO NOT show the Social Security fund flows into the Treasury, and the related issue of debt for that.   This should track with the "Public Debt" portion of the Total Debt.

On the other side there is the "Intragovernmental Debt" which is issued as IOU for the funds used by operations, which are rightfully owed back to the SS fund and other retirement funds (all this inward flow is immediately used by general government, and a special, non-negotiable form of treasury debt is places in trust for these retirement funds).

So, normally when you fully reconcile the Public portion and the Intragovernmental portion of the Total Debt with the deficit and activity in retirement funds, these odd ball things are able to be explained. 

The upshot is that the government is still spending at an absurd rate.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!