Treasury: Under Obama, U.S Gov't Debt Held by Public Up 90%

October 2, 2013 - 11:06 AM
Barack Obama

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Treasury released its last Daily Treasury Statement for fiscal 2013 yesterday afternoon, revealing that during the presidency of Barack Obama the U.S. government debt held by the public has increased 90 percent.

At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. government debt held by the public was $6,307,311,000,000, according to the Daily Treasury Statement for that day.

At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2013—the last day of fiscal 2013—the Daily Treasury Statement said the U.S. government debt held by the public was $11,976,279,000,000.

The $11,976,279,000,000 in U.S. government debt held by the public on Sept. 30, 2013 was $5,668,968,000,000 more than the $6,307,311,000,000 in debt held by the public on Obama’s first inauguration day.

That is an increase of 89.879 percent—or approximately 90 percent.

The U.S. Treasury divides the U.S. government's debt into two general categories: debt held by the public and intragovernmental debt. Debt held by the public consists primarily of U.S. Treasury securities—including bills, notes and bonds—that the Treasury sells on the open market to everybody from individual families and investors to government entities in the People’s Republic of China.

Intragovernmental debt is money the Treasury has borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund and other government sources to pay for current government expenses.

Under Obama, intragovernmental debt has increased only about 10 percent, starting at $4,319,566,000,000 on Jan. 20, 2009 and increasing to $4,761,904,000,000 by the close of business on Sept. 30, 2013.

During Obama’s presidency, intragovernmental debt has declined as a percentage of the overall debt and debt held by the public has increased as a percentage of the overall debt. This happened as surpluses in Social Security taxes (over Social Security benefits paid) have dwindled and the Treasury has been forced to borrow proportionately more money from the public rather than from Social Security to pay the government's current expenses.

On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, 40.6 percent of the federal government's total debt was intragovernmental debt and 59.4 percent was debt held by the public. On Sept. 30, 2013, 28.4 percent of the debt was intragovernmental and 71.6 percent was debt held by the public.