It’s all fake. Congress knows it’s fake. The media know it’s fake. It is now a source of great amusement. It’s called “putting the shuck on the rubes.” The voters don’t care or understand.
As for the law: Who cares?
The federal deficit increased by $146 billion in August, according to a report released today by the Congressional Budget Office. But, at the same time, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal debt did not increase at all during the month.
Total federal receipts were $185 billion during August, according to the CBO, while total federal outlays were $331 billion. Thus, the Treasury was forced to engage in $146 billion in deficit spending.
Despite this deficit spending, the Treasury reported that at the close of every single business day in August, the federal debt subject to a legal limit by Congress remained exactly $16,699,396,000,000.
That is approximately just $25 million below the legal limit on the debt that is $16,699,421,095,673.60
If the federal debt had climbed by the same $146 billion that the deficit climbed in August, it would have exceeded the legal limit by almost $146 billion.
In fact, according to the Daily Treasury Statements that the Treasury publishes at 4:00 p.m. on each business day, the debt subject to the legal limit has remained at exactly $16,699,396,000,000–or about $25 million below the legal limit–every day since May 17.
With the release of the Daily Treasury Statement for Sept. 6 (which occurred at 4:00 p.m on Sept. 9), that makes 112 days that, according to the U.S. Treasury, the debt has been stuck at $16,699,396,000,000.
The CBO reported today said that in addition to a $146 billion deficit in August, the Treasury also ran a $98 billion deficit in July, and that in the first eleven months of fiscal 2013 (October through August) the federal government has run a cumulative $753 billion deficit.
Back on May 17–when the Treasury said the debt first hit $16,699,396,000,000–Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent House Speaker John Boehner a letter indicating that the Treasury would begin using “extraordinary measures” to allow the government to continue borrowing money without exceeding the legal limit of $16,699,421,095,673.60.