1,015,736,491,184 Reasons To Have A Plan B

Notes From The Field By Simon Black

October 1, 2019  En Route to Chile

1,015,736,491,184 Reasons To Have A Plan B

Precisely one year ago today, the US federal government opened Fiscal Year 2019 with a total debt level of $21.6 trillion:

Specifically, the US federal debt on October 1st last year was $21,606,948,183,180.23

Today is the start of the government’s 2020 Fiscal Year. And the total debt is now $22,622,684,674,364.43

That means they accumulated more than $1 TRILLION in new debt over the course of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

Think about that for a moment:

FY2019 was, literally, the BEST year EVER measured by short-term US financial performance. The stock market reached an all-time high. Real estate prices reached an all-time high.

Corporate profits are at record highs. Personal income is at a record high. Unemployment is hovering near an all-time low.

And all of these factors drove US government tax revenue to an all-time high; Uncle Sam has never had more income in its entire history.

Plus, there were no major foreign wars or natural disasters. No banking crises or economic panics. No massive bailouts.

And if you recall, the US government was shut down for most of the month of January due to a budget conflict, so federal spending was at a minimum for a good chunk of the year.

Yet despite this bonanza of good news, the national debt STILL increased by more than a trillion dollars!


Here’s an even more startling way of looking at it:

In Fiscal Year 2012, the government spent $359 billion paying interest on its debt. In Fiscal Year 2015 they spent $402 billion. In FY2017, $458 billion.

In the Fiscal Year 2019 that just closed yesterday, they spent more than $540 billion just paying INTEREST on the debt.

Do you see the pattern?


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