US Deficit Up $590 Billion but Debt Up $1.2 Trillion: Sleight of Hand Magic

by Mike ‘Mish’ Shedlock
Mish Talk

The US deficit is up $590 billion so one might think total US debt would rise by that amount or at least something close to that amount.

Instead, total US debt for the fiscal year that just closed soared by over $1.2 trillion. What’s going on?

The shortest answer is “deficit lies”. The longer answer involves numerous off budget items like social security do not count towards the deficit but do count towards debt.

Lacy Hunt covered this topic in detail in the Hoisington Management Quarterly Review and Outlook Third Quarter 2016 (following snips via email).

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