Federal Debt Jumped $463.6 Billion In First Quarter of FY 2011--As Government Borrowed an Additional $1,500 Per Person in U.S.

January 17, 2011 - 4:20 PM

Obama

President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office on Jan. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - The national debt jumped $463.6 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (which ran from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31), the Treasury Department reports.

That means the government borrowed approximately an additional $1,500 for every one of the 308,745,538 men, women and children in the United States as counted by the 2010 Census.

If government debt continues to accumulate at that pace through the remaining three quarters of the fiscal year, total new debt for the year would amount to approximately $1.85 trillion--or about $6,000 for every person in the country.

That would rival the $1.89 trillion in new debt the government piled up in fiscal 2009--the greatest debt-accumulation year in the history of the country--when the federal government bailed out some of the nation's largest banks and President Barack Obama signed his economic stimulus package.

So far, fiscal 2010 (which ended on Sept. 30) ranks second after fiscal 2009, for the greatest federal debt accumulation--with the government adding $1.65 trillion in new debt that year.

The $463.6 billion in new debt the government accumulated in just the first quarter of fiscal 2011 places that quarter third among quarters in U.S. history for the accumulation of new debt in dollar terms. The first quarter of fiscal 2009, when the government ran up $675.1 billion in new debt, ranks first, and the last quarter of fiscal 2008, when the government ran up $532.7 billion in new debt ranks second.

The U.S. economy was in a deep recession in 2008, however, and Congress enacted a $700 billion bank bailout bill (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) in October of that year (just as fiscal 2009 began).

It’s not surprising that the first quarter of fiscal 2009 should have been unique for its debt accumulation because, according to a Government Accountability Office timeline, the federal government borrowed and disbursed more than $250 billion in bank bailout funds during that quarter.

With both the bank bailout, signed by President George W. Bush in October 2008, and the $787-billion economic stimulus law signed by President Obama in February 2009, it is also not surprising that the federal government accumulated more new debt in fiscal 2009--$1.89 trillion--than in any other year in U.S. history.

But the $1.85 trillion in new debt the federal government is currently on a pace to accumulate this year would come without a deep recession, a bank bailout or a massive stimulus spending program.

Here is where the total national debt stood in millions of dollars on the last day of each quarter in each of the last nine fiscal years:

Fiscal 2002:

Dec. 31, 2001 5,943,439

March 31, 2002 6,006,032

June 30, 2002 6,126,469

Sept. 30, 2002 6,228,236

Fiscal 2003:

Dec. 31, 2002                                      6,405,707

March 31, 2003                                   6,460,776

June 30, 2003                                      6,670,121

Sept. 30, 2003                                     6,783,231

Fiscal 2004:

Dec. 31, 2003                                      6,997,964

March 31, 2004                                   7,131,068

June 30, 2004                                      7,274,335

Sept. 30, 2004                                     7,379,053

Fiscal 2005:

Dec. 31, 2004                                      7,596,144

March 31, 2005                                   7,776,939

June 30, 2005                                      7,836,496

Sept. 30, 2005                                     7,932,710

Fiscal 2006:

Dec. 31, 2005                                      8,170,414

March 31, 2006                                   8,371,156

June 30, 2006                                      8,420,042

Sept. 30, 2006                                     8,506,974

Fiscal 2007:

Dec. 31, 2006 8,680,224

March 31, 2007 8,849,665

June 30, 2007 8,867,675

Sept. 30, 2007 9,007,653

Fiscal 2008:

Dec. 31, 2007 9,229,173

March 31, 2008 9,437,594

June 30, 2008 9,492,006

Sept. 30, 2008 10,024,725

Fiscal 2009:

Dec. 31, 2008 10,699,805

March 31, 2009 11,126,941

June 30, 2009 11,545,275

Sept. 30, 2009 11,909,829

Fiscal 2010:

Dec. 31, 2009 12,311,350

March 31, 2010 12,773,123

June 30, 2010 13,201,792

Sept. 30, 2010 13,561,623

Fiscal 2011:

Dec. 31, 2010 14,025,215