Going Broke: Treasury Down to $58.6B in Cash, $130.5B Borrowing Authority

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 30, 2011 | 5:37 PM EDT

Then House Minority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and President Barack Obama on Jan. 29, 2010. (Associated Press photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Imagine that you had an average monthly income of about $170 balanced against average monthly expenses of about $940--and that you were more than $14,000 in debt.

Then imagine that as of today, you had only $58.60 in cash left in your bank account and $130.50 left on your line of credit.

Now multiply these numbers by 1 billion and you will have the up-to-date financial situation of the U.S. government.

According to the Daily Treasury Statement released by the U.S. Treasury Department today at 4:00 p.m., the Treasury had $58.6 billion in cash in its accounts as of the close of business on Tuesday. That was down from $190.6 billion at the beginning of March and $309.8 billion at the beginning of this fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2010.

In the first five months of this fiscal year (Oct.-Feb.), the federal government averaged $169.6 billion per month in revenue. (During these months, the Treasury brought in a cumulative total of $845.3 billion—including all moneys from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, estate taxes and other taxes.)

In the same five months that it was averaging this $169.6 billion in revenue, the federal government was averaging $943.4 billion in monthly spending. (During those months, the Treasury actually spent $4.717 trillion—including, for example, $2.492 trillion to pay off the holders of Treasury securities that had matured, $245.7 billion in Social Security benefits, $212.8 billion in Medicare benefits, $158.4 billion to pay defense contractors, $113.0 billion for Medicaid benefits, $111.6 billion for Department of Education programs, $94.3 billion in interest on debt, $73.4 billion in salaries for federal workers, and $26.7 billion in insurance benefits for federal workers.)

All of these cumulative federal expenditures--and more—from the period of October through February were itemized in the “withdrawal” column of “Table II” in the Daily Treasury Statement for Feb. 28.

Thus far in March, as itemized in the Daily Treasury Statement released today, the federal government has spent $927.3 billion while taking in $184.2 billion in revenue.

Currently, the legal limit on the federal debt (as set in law by an act passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama) is $14.2940 trillion. As of the close of business Tuesday, the portion of the national debt subject to this legal limit was $14.1635 trillion.

That leaves the federal government with just $130.5 billion in legal borrowing authority.

When that $130.5 billion in remaining legal borrowing authority is added to the Treasury’s $58.6 billion cash on hand, it leaves the government with a net $189.1 billion in spending room—or about one-fifth of the federal government’s $943.4 billion monthly spending habit.