Friday, June 5, 2009

The National Debt versus the Deficit

Not surprisingly, there is quite a bit of monkey business surrounding how the national debt and deficit are reported by the government. The Congressional Budget Office, for example, puts the TARP's contribution to the fiscal year 2009 deficit at $184 billion, even though the TARP is expected to add an additional $461 billion to the outstanding national debt during the same fiscal year.

As Jeffrey Rogers Hummel puts it, this means that:
President's Obama's reported budget, coming in at nearly 28 percent of GDP(the highest since World War II), significantly understates the increase in federal spending on a pure cash-flow basis.

JRH just emailed me his short but very thorough analysis of the gross national debt versus the outstanding national debt versus the deficit. It is well worth reading, you'll know more about these topics than 99% of the country. It can be found here.

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