The US Federal Government’s Debt Burden

by James Turk

The US federal government’s financial accounts end each year on September 30th. Last week the Treasury Department reported the government’s financial position for the fiscal year ended 2016, and it does not look good.

I will ignore for the moment the government’s negative net worth, which itself means that the federal government owes more than it can possibly ever repay. The next negative net worth statement will be reported in a few months when Treasury releases the government’s consolidated financial accounts. Instead I will focus only on cash flow, specifically the cash that comes into the government from taxes and borrowing, the total of which is the amount of cash the government spends each year.

The first point to note on the September 30th accounts is the deficit.

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