Despite it being only the end of the 3rd fiscal quarter, the federal government has already accumulated $1 trillion more in debt.
That makes 2012 the 5th straight year of adding at least a trillion dollar to our national debt.
By the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2012, the new debt accumulated in this fiscal year by the federal government had already exceeded $1 trillion, making this fiscal year the fifth straight in which the federal government has increased its debt by more than a trillion dollars, according to official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury.
Prior to fiscal 2008, the federal government had never increased its debt by as much as $1 trillion in a single fiscal year. From fiscal 2008 onward, however, the federal government has increased its debt by at least $1 trillion each and every fiscal year.
The federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30. At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2011-the last day of fiscal 2011-the total debt of the federal government was $14,790,340,328,557.15. By June 29, the last business day of the third quarter of fiscal 2012, that debt had grown to $15,856,367,214,324.44-an increase for this fiscal year of $1,066,026,885,767.29.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, the federal debt has continued to accumulate, hitting $15,874,365,457,260.40 at the close of business on Thursday, July 19-marking a total increase so far in fiscal 2012 of $1,084,025,128,703.25.
In fiscal 2007, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government's debt increased $500,679,473,047.25. But that marked the last fiscal year in which the federal government's debt did not increase by at least $1 trillion.
Perhaps if we began to look at the debt accumulation as a moral issue, we might get people interested in doing something about it. But that's not likely as long as President Obama and the Democrats are saying that the debt isn't as important as spurring growth, and another trillion dollar stimulus is what is needed.
Right now, Fed chief Bernanke is doing his best to keep interest rates artificially low. This keeps our cost of debt servicing way down. But once interest rates start to rise, servicing the debt will become a huge budget item -- perhaps as much as we spend on Medicare presently which is about $450 billion.
Once debt servicing gets that high, there will probably be some urgency to balancing the budget and working on reducing the debt. But don't hold your breath. Congress has been unable to decide what to cut so the idea that any agreement can be reached is unrealistic at this time.