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Watch the Federal Debt Rise, Moment by Moment. This Is the On-Budget Debt. The Off-Budget Debt Is Vastly Worse.

Gary North

The Gross National Debt


This is the on-budget debt, meaning the debt statistic the government prefers to report. It is deliberately misleading. The real debt is over seven times larger.

For a detailed series of all deficits -- public and private -- click here.

The unfunded liability of the U.S. government for Social Security and Medicare is over $70 trillion. See Table 1.

A more recent estimate is $222 trillion.

Watch the video of David Walker, then the Comptroller General of the United States, which aired on CBS's "Sixty Minutes" in July, 2007 -- before the recession hit. In February, 2008, he announced his resignation. He left to head up a newly organized foundation designed to sound a warning on America's looming bankruptcy.



On October 20, 2005, the on-budget debt of the United States Government went over $8 trillion. This is an increase of well over $2 trillion since January, 2001.

In 2007, it went over $9 trillion.

In 2008, it went over $10.5 trillion

In 2009, it went over $11.7 trillion

Next stop (January 2013): $16.4 trillion (minimum)

When was the last year the Federal government had a surplus? If you say "2001," you don't understand how the accounting game is played. The Federal government counted Social Security and Medicare tax revenues as providing a surplus, even though they are debts. This no longer works. Both programs are running deficits.

The last year when the government ran a surplus was 1957. See the article here.

In addition, the total unfunded government debt, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Federal pensions (off-budget), is approaching $75 trillion. (See Table 2).

The on-budget per capita debt is horrendous. You can see its growth in a chart here

On the yearly growth of this debt, 1791-2007, see the official numbers here.

For any year, or range of years, 1993-present, use the Treasury's software here.

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