Editorial Board, Orange County Register:
A couple of recent reports illustrate just how dire the United States federal government’s debt situation really is.
The federal government took in a record $2.9 trillion in tax revenues for the first 11 months of the fiscal year (through the end of August), up about 7.4 percent from the same period the year before. Using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, CNS News calculated that this translates to approximately $19,346 for every person in the country who had a full-time or part-time job. Yet, even these record revenues could not satisfy the government’s insatiable spending, which totaled $3.4 trillion during the period, resulting in a deficit of $530 billion.
And that is for less than one year. The total debt held by the public has surpassed $13 trillion, which excludes the more than $5 trillion in intragovernmental debt, such as Treasury securities held in the Social Security Trust Fund. As a recent Cato Institute white paper notes, debt held by the public is approximately $107,000 for every household in the nation.