US Federal Debt Is Expanding At The Fastest Rate Since The Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black via,

A few days ago, the federal debt of the United States rather quietly and unceremoniously passed the $19.5 trillion mark.

And while that figure may seem absolutely confounding, what’s even more alarming is how rapidly the US government is racking up this debt.

In fact, for the 2016 fiscal year that ends in just ten more days, the US government’s debt growth of $1.36 trillion is on track to be the third biggest annual increase ever.

The only two years in all of US history that posted higher US debt growth were 2009 and 2010– the peak of the financial crisis.

Even more acutely, last month the US federal debt grew by $151.5 billion.

Not counting the financial crisis, and a few anomalous months following a debt ceiling reset, August 2016 was the single biggest expansion of US debt EVER.

In other words, US federal debt is expanding at its fastest rate since the financial crisis, and one of the fastest rates in all of US history.

This isn’t supposed to be happening. We’re in ‘peacetime’. The financial crisis is over. The economy is supposedly growing, and unemployment is supposedly falling.

None of the normal big deficit triggers exists; if you read the mainstream press, the news about the US economy is all rainbows and buttercups.

You’d think they would actually be running a surplus at this point and paying down the debt. Or at a minimum the rate of debt growth would be shrinking.

But no. Despite all of this good economic news, the government is still piling up debt at record levels.

If the debt is growing this quickly in good times, just imagine how dire the debt situation will become once the economy slows down and recession kicks in.

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neilhorn's picture

I have one thought regarding Japan. The Japanese, from reports I have read, no longer think sexual reproduction is important: If this is true then how are the current population of the  Japanese nation going to find someone who will pay their pension and pay off their debt?

Every JPY printed is a promise that is never going to be kept. As is every USD. (As is every Chinese Yuan, because they also halted birth in the late 70's and imposed a 2 child regimen, and neither of those two childs, by choice of the parents, is a female who can reproduce. So, China is also fucked in another generation).

Meanwhile, according to the theory of Idiocracy, the galactically stupid parasites of the developed world, the victims of the crusades of the early second millenium and the starved for cargo, colonized third world are fucking their brains out and asking the civilized nations to feed their babies.

Let's guess the outcome.

Mini-Me's picture

People need to stop assuming the "funded" debt is the value worth worrying about.  Do a back of the envelope GAAP analysis and you can bet the mortgage the total liability is north of 10x that amount.  

This probably doesn't include all the promises being made to make everything "free" in exchange for votes.  Nor does it account for the FDIC black hole, the Post Office, AMTRAK or countless other federal debacles.

Can you say, "Default?"

KingdomKum's picture

and people scoff at the idea of FEMA camps  .  .  .  

1980XLS's picture

The average American does not even know the difference from the Deficit vs the Debt.

Party on.   (while it lasts)

Don Sunset's picture

The cowardly "GOP" authorized OBLAMER and his socialist gang's spending spree that has us BR.

We must vote them ALL out.  It's easier than dragging them to the door (or window) and throwing their asses out.

I'm am not suggesting that you vote Libertarian.  In case you are a Libertarian:


stocktivity's picture


It's all Bullshit!!!



















insidious's picture

I believe the estimated deficit for 2016 is $616 billion but the 2016 debt increases by $1.36 trillion. So how does that work?

Menoetius's picture

I was wondering the same. Simon Black employed the term "Total Debt," so is he including state/local and agency debt? If so then it'd be greater than $19.5 trillion. On September 30, 2015 the Historical Debt outstanding was $18.15 trillion. CBO estimates are that 2016 deficit will be $590 trillion. That equates to a final 2016 Historical Debt of $18.74 trillion. I haven't seen anything reporting that the deficit will be 130% larger ($1.36 trillion) than the CBO's estimate. Not sure where Simon is getting his data.

Hohum's picture

Rolling over maturing debt?

stocktivity's picture

What is the interest on 19++ trillion?

quartshort's picture

Well, at negative interest rates it's all good- We will be rolling in it!!!

Print baby print.

Dark Daze's picture
Dark Daze (not verified) insidious Sep 20, 2016 6:40 PM

The fiscal deficit, plus interest on the debt, plus the trade deficit. Funny thing about a pure fiat system is that it is absolutely necessary to pay off current debt with new debt, because there is no gold and most people around the world don't want what you have anymore. It used to work great when the US controlled the whole system, but now, not so much.

If you have any intention at all of getting a handle on your financial problems you better figure out a way to sell things that others want, which isn't military hardware or genetically modified wheat.

Rikky's picture

It's now if but when the wheels come off.


"there's a reckoning a coming and it burns beyond the grave."

1980XLS's picture

Obama's popularity rating seems to rise  in direct correlation with the National debt.


Hohum's picture

Sure, someone benefits from that debt, you know.

Ascew's picture

I really do try to follow, but what the heck is the US Macro Surprise Index? Is it a real thing, or a joke I don't get?

JailBanksters's picture

Just think how fast it's going to increase once it starts raining bombs in Iran

The Rothschilds,Coburgs, Saxons will be rubbing their hands with glee, Bwah Ha Ha Ha Money Money Money Death Ruins Famine Bwah Ha Ha Ha


lucky and good's picture

It is no secret that Washington tends to spin the news, and in this case it is in an effort to tell you the deficit is under control and all is well. Fact is the leap from 18 to 19 trillion in government didn't take long. Many people have looked away but the National Debt Clock has not stopped ticking and has solidly passed the 19 trillion dollar threshold by 524 billion dollars.

One thing is crystal clear, it is far easier to run up debt than to pay it off. A major concern for this writer is that in 2017 entitlements are poised to balloon causing a massive spike in government spending. More on the true numbers and this growing problem below.