Michael Schaus

That’s it. I’ve made up my mind: I now like President Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. In fact, I can’t stress enough how much I would like him to run my household expenses. Apparently the Federal Government ran a $146 billion deficit in the month of August and a $98 billion deficit in July without adding a single dollar to the total National Debt. I know – It’s a kinda cool trick!

According to reports released from the Treasury Department, the Federal Government’s total debt has remained at $16,699,396,000,000.00 since May 17th. . . That means our National Debt has remained just under the legal limit since spring, despite running deficits for multiple months.

If you’re having trouble grasping this concept, don’t worry. . . That’s why I want Jack Lew to run my household finances. This man is an accounting genius, apparently. Although, I can’t help but imagine that the IRS would be mildly irritated if I attempted similar financial accounting gimmicks in my check book.

The absurd notion that the government can run deficits without adding to its total debt burden is made possible (on paper) by the overly complicated manner used to account for federal debt obligations. According to Lew, the Treasury Department has taken a number of “extraordinary” steps to keep the debt from climbing over the limit set by congress.  

According to CNSnews:

Among the “extraordinary measures” Lew said he could take to create this “headroom” under the debt limit were: 1) not investing new money from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) in U.S. Treasury securities, 2) not reinvesting $58 billion ion Treasury Securities held by the CSRDF that would be maturing and not reinvesting $16 billion in interest owed to the fund, 3) suspending the routine daily reinvestment of $160 billion in special Treasury securities held by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan, and 4) suspending the routine daily reinvestment of Treasury securities held by the government’s own Exchange Stabilization Fund.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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