Hey Kids! The Deficit Was $587 Billion Last Year!

While you chaps are processing salacious tales of gropings and collapsings on the presidential trail, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service has faithfully discharged its obligation to publish the actuals for the federal government for fiscal year 2016 ending September 30.

It’s amazing, really, that a federal government that can’t cobble together a health care system that lets you keep your doctor can easily run the numbers on the trillions of dollars in Outlays and Receipts and come up with the official Federal Deficit in a couple weeks after the end of the fiscal year.

But then, as I read some years ago, the first thing you need to know about government is that its most important program is not defense or its funding for Planned Parenthood, but simply this:

The most important government program is the program to sell the debt.

As long as the government can get the widows and orphans to buy its debt from their nice brokers on Wall Street then everything is copacetic. Otherwise, head for the border. Hello Venezuela and Weimar Germany.

That is why Hillary Clinton is such a pal of the notorious Goldman Sachs, and why it is natural to put an Obama “O” in GOldman or a Hillary “H” in SacHs. Or both. Government needs the bankers and the bankers need government. That is not a scandal; it is just settled science.

So what is the deficit for FY 2016? Well, back in the FY 2011 budget, published in February 2010, the Obama boys estimated the deficit at $649 billion. Since then, they have changed their minds five times, and the lowest estimate was $474 billion in the FY16 budget. But last February, President Obama published the FY17 budget that estimated the FY16 deficit at $615 billion. Don’t ask me why the estimate bumped up $150 billion in one year. All I can say is that it had nothing to do with the 2016 election. Nothing.

So how did the Deficit for 2016 turn out, after all? The answer, published by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is $587 billion. The Receipts were down about $70 billion from forecast, and the Outlays were down about $100 billion.

Of course, the deficit is not the whole story, because the Federal Government borrows a lot more money than is recorded in the official federal deficit for the unified budget. According to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service the total Treasury debt a year ago on September 30, 2015 was $18.1 trillion. A couple of weeks ago on September 30, 2016 the debt had grown to $19.5 trillion. So the debt increased by $1.4 trillion over the last 12 months.

You may ask: How can this be? How can the debt go up by $1,422 billion in a year when the deficit was only $587 billion? Where did the additional $835 billion come from? Why is the government borrowing an extra $800 billion and change over and above the vital and necessary $587 billion to keep the Social Security checks and birth-control pills coming?

I have an idea. I think it has something to do with the Democrats’ principled desire to get the special interests out of campaign financing. I think that if you read the tea leaves carefully you will find that President Obama decided a while back to use his phone and his pen to implement full public campaign financing in advance of the 2016 election and end forever the injustice of the donors and the special interests calling the shots. So now the federal government will just distribute the necessary funds to deserving regime supporters without waiting for the approval of the donors and the voters.

I think that Hillary Clinton’s razor-sharp categorization of voters into the peer-reviewed social-science categories of “deplorables” and “irredeemables” gives us a window into the philosophical categories developed by the best minds in our ruling class as they decided, months ago, how to distribute, in the run-up to the election, the public campaign finance funding phoned in by the president. Anybody could tell that Black Lives Matter activists, sexual-harassment victims of crony capitalists, green-energy contractors, and Syrian refugees were marked out for peaceful and just assistance to redress centuries of exploitation and oppression, whereas the deplorables needed to be carefully screened off from any corrupting influence of filthy lucre that might further deform their minds into deeper and darker “hate” and “xenophobia.”

All this money sloshing around is good clean fun, but what if the nation had to fight a war, one utterly unanticipated by the big thinkers and the diversity administrators? How can this nation fight a war of national survival when it has already run its debt up to 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product and very likely more?

You tell me, President Obama and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

While you chaps are processing salacious tales of gropings and collapsings on the presidential trail, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service has faithfully discharged its obligation to publish the actuals for the federal government for fiscal year 2016 ending September 30.

It’s amazing, really, that a federal government that can’t cobble together a health care system that lets you keep your doctor can easily run the numbers on the trillions of dollars in Outlays and Receipts and come up with the official Federal Deficit in a couple weeks after the end of the fiscal year.

But then, as I read some years ago, the first thing you need to know about government is that its most important program is not defense or its funding for Planned Parenthood, but simply this:

The most important government program is the program to sell the debt.

As long as the government can get the widows and orphans to buy its debt from their nice brokers on Wall Street then everything is copacetic. Otherwise, head for the border. Hello Venezuela and Weimar Germany.

That is why Hillary Clinton is such a pal of the notorious Goldman Sachs, and why it is natural to put an Obama “O” in GOldman or a Hillary “H” in SacHs. Or both. Government needs the bankers and the bankers need government. That is not a scandal; it is just settled science.

So what is the deficit for FY 2016? Well, back in the FY 2011 budget, published in February 2010, the Obama boys estimated the deficit at $649 billion. Since then, they have changed their minds five times, and the lowest estimate was $474 billion in the FY16 budget. But last February, President Obama published the FY17 budget that estimated the FY16 deficit at $615 billion. Don’t ask me why the estimate bumped up $150 billion in one year. All I can say is that it had nothing to do with the 2016 election. Nothing.

So how did the Deficit for 2016 turn out, after all? The answer, published by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is $587 billion. The Receipts were down about $70 billion from forecast, and the Outlays were down about $100 billion.

Of course, the deficit is not the whole story, because the Federal Government borrows a lot more money than is recorded in the official federal deficit for the unified budget. According to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service the total Treasury debt a year ago on September 30, 2015 was $18.1 trillion. A couple of weeks ago on September 30, 2016 the debt had grown to $19.5 trillion. So the debt increased by $1.4 trillion over the last 12 months.

You may ask: How can this be? How can the debt go up by $1,422 billion in a year when the deficit was only $587 billion? Where did the additional $835 billion come from? Why is the government borrowing an extra $800 billion and change over and above the vital and necessary $587 billion to keep the Social Security checks and birth-control pills coming?

I have an idea. I think it has something to do with the Democrats’ principled desire to get the special interests out of campaign financing. I think that if you read the tea leaves carefully you will find that President Obama decided a while back to use his phone and his pen to implement full public campaign financing in advance of the 2016 election and end forever the injustice of the donors and the special interests calling the shots. So now the federal government will just distribute the necessary funds to deserving regime supporters without waiting for the approval of the donors and the voters.

I think that Hillary Clinton’s razor-sharp categorization of voters into the peer-reviewed social-science categories of “deplorables” and “irredeemables” gives us a window into the philosophical categories developed by the best minds in our ruling class as they decided, months ago, how to distribute, in the run-up to the election, the public campaign finance funding phoned in by the president. Anybody could tell that Black Lives Matter activists, sexual-harassment victims of crony capitalists, green-energy contractors, and Syrian refugees were marked out for peaceful and just assistance to redress centuries of exploitation and oppression, whereas the deplorables needed to be carefully screened off from any corrupting influence of filthy lucre that might further deform their minds into deeper and darker “hate” and “xenophobia.”

All this money sloshing around is good clean fun, but what if the nation had to fight a war, one utterly unanticipated by the big thinkers and the diversity administrators? How can this nation fight a war of national survival when it has already run its debt up to 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product and very likely more?

You tell me, President Obama and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.