(CNSNews.com) - In fiscal 2016, which ended on Friday, the federal debt increased $1,422,827,047,452.46, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.
At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury. By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.
According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimate, there were 118,215,000 households in the United States as of June. That means that the one-year increase in the federal debt of $1,422,827,047,452.46 in fiscal 2016 equaled about $12,036 per household.
The total federal debt of $19,573,444,713,936.79 now equals about $165,575 per household.
The increase in the federal debt in fiscal 2016 was larger than it might have been had Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew not declared what the government calls a “debt issuance suspension period” on March 16, 2015 and kept it going until Nov. 2, 2015--when President Barack Obama signed the “Bipartisan Budget Act,” a spending deal he had cut with the Republican leaders in Congress.
During the “debt issuance suspension period,” the Treasury used what it calls “extraordinary measures” to freeze that portion of the federal debt then subject to a legal limit set by Congress at a level just below that legal limit.
These “extraordinary measures” largely amounted to changing the way the government accounted for government employee retirement funds, including the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, and the Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees’ Thrift Savings Plan.
While using its “extraordinary measures,” the Treasury said that the portion of the “debt subject to the limit” was frozen at $18,112,975,000,000 for 233 straight days.
The day Obama signed the budget deal, the total federal debt jumped from $18,152,981,685,747.52 to $18,492,091,120,833.99—a one-day climb of $339,109,435,086.47.
The budget deal suspended the debt limit until March 15, 2017.
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